It didn’t take long for the rumor mill to begin swirling about one of the game’s best players, Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto. Soto is a generational type of talent. At the age of twenty-three and in only his fifth season in the big leagues, Soto has an all-star appearance, two silver slugger awards, a batting title, and the franchise’s first world series championship in 2019. In 2021, he would go on to finish second in the National League MVP voting. So why in the world would the Seattle Mariners have a shot at the superstar?
Over the past few days, we have seen numerous reports suggesting that the Nationals may consider trading their best player due to zero progress in a contract extension. In February, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas was confirmed by Juan Soto himself that he had recently turned down a 13-year, 350 million dollar extension.
Naturally, that gets people buzzin’ as that offer looks very much like a final type of offer from a Nationals franchise that has basically chosen to not field a competitive team around a player who is likely not even in his prime yet, while still playing like a top ten player in the game.
As these reports circulated, a response came on Thursday in a message from Soto’s agent Scott Boras to New York Post’s Jon Heyman, stating that trade is not happening. That is what we call damage control. I believe this information started to get out because I believe that the Nationals are ready to begin the process of trading Juan Soto.
This will not be a quick process, as Soto’s contract doesn’t expire until 2024. There will be no amount of losses this summer that will push their front office to pull the trigger. The deal will only come once the full realization of his departure and the massive haul of prospects they could receive come to an acceptable point for ownership.
I don’t believe that Soto will be traded this summer. I do believe that Soto will be on a different team by Opening Day 2023. There’s too much value for both parties to wait much longer in trading such a valuable asset. I believe that the Seattle Mariners are the perfect team to make the jump and make the deal of the century.