GM Mike Rizzo has called an extension for Juan Soto the Nationals’ “No. 1 priority,” and as the right fielder’s accomplishments grow, so does the price tag.
On Tuesday, Juan Soto became the fastest Nationals player to reach 100 career home runs — and the seventh active player to hit the century mark at age 23 and younger, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Perhaps more importantly, he’s justifying playing the long game with his extension, having turned down a 13-year, $350 million contract extension offer this winter — which would’ve been the third-largest by total value.
In March, Soto signed a one-year, $17.1 million contract to avoid arbitration and has two arbitration years remaining unless an extension is agreed upon.
With a World Series championship (2019), batting title (.351 in ’20), two Silver Sluggers (‘20-21), and three consecutive top-10 finishes in NL MVP voting, Soto could surpass the $426.5 million (over 12 years) Mike Trout was given by the Angels in March 2019 — the largest contract in MLB history.
The question then would be whether he becomes MLB’s first $500 million player.