Latest news about Juan Soto Market


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Since it turned out that citizens are ready to consider trade proposals on Juan Soto, the whole baseball world was obsessed with trying to figure out where he could go and what a fair deal would even look like. This will likely not change as rumors about Soto are bound to circulate every day until the August 2 deadline if the deal is not completed sooner.

MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently analyzed the situation, highlighting that Soto is arguably the most attractive trading chip in recent times, or possibly ever. Given his talent, youth and years of control left, just about every team will be calling the Nats and asking what kind of deal they want to make.

Bob Nightingale of USA Today reports that discussions have begun and, not surprisingly, Soto is of general interest. He lists the Mariners, Padres, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees and Mets as seven teams that have already opened lines of communication with Washington.

None of them are particularly surprising, as all seven of them were listed by Adams as the most suitable. There is a potential complicating factor in the negotiations as The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reports that the Nationals want to merge Soto with Patrick Corbin in a bid to have the Corbyn contract removed from their books. As an additional detail, The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty looks at the pros and cons of including Corbyn in the deal, adding that Corbyn has a partial no-trade clause. Despite this, Dougherty adds that it won’t stop the deal from happening, implying that either Corbin’s clause is minimal enough not to include major suitors, or perhaps he would be willing to forego the clause and move to a new club with Soto.

While the Nationals are certainly open to Corbin moving out and out of his contract, it’s unclear how important that is to them. Signed to a six-year, $140 million contract through 2019, the first season was a resounding success. Corbin went to 202 innings with a 3.25 ERA and then added another 23 1/3 frames in the postseason as the Nats won the first World Series title in franchise history. Since then, however, things have gone downhill: Corbin’s strikeouts have disappeared and ERA has increased. After hitting 30.8% in 2018 and 28.5% in 2019, he hovered around 20% for the next three seasons. His ERA jumped to 4.66 in 2020, then to 5.82 last year and 5.87 this year.

As for Corbin’s contract, it was heavily loaded. His salary this year is $23.42 million, and after the deadline is over, he has about $8 million left to pay. It will then earn $24.42 million the following year and jump sharply to $35.42 million in 2024. This is the final year of the deal, although there is still $10 million of money deferred from November 2024 to January 2026.

The combination of Corbin’s poor performance and high salary gives him a negative trading value. So any combination Corbin-Soto deal would result in the citizens receiving a smaller package of prospects than a deal involving Soto alone. At first glance, it seems strange that the nuts are so interested in such a scenario. Either way, Soto’s trade means a loss of competitiveness until 2024, so canceling Corbin’s contract for this season shouldn’t be a top priority. With Soto gone, the only other meaningful salary they will be paying in 2024 and beyond will be Stephen Strasburg, who will receive $35 million a year until 2026. Spending $70 million on Strasbourg and Corbin in 2024 is certainly not ideal, but the rest of the list is likely to be filled with pre-arbitrage players or those who have just qualified and earned minimum raises. The club’s wages last year were $183 million under Cot baseball contracts, but this year it’s already down to $135 million.

But if the Nats are truly interested in getting that money off the roster early, it will change the calculation of which teams make the most sense as trading partners. The receiving teams will receive two significant salaries as Soto pays well. He’s earning $17.1 million this year and he’ll get an arbitrage boost in the next two campaigns, possibly getting closer to the $25 million range next year and above $30 million in 2024 if he stays healthy. Even for the rest of this campaign, Soto will have about $6 million left to pay by the deadline. Combined with the roughly $8 million owed to Corbin, that would add $14 million to the payroll this year for any team acquiring both.

As Steve Adams highlighted in the article linked above, all seven teams listed by Nightengale have important young players who could spearhead a comeback in the Soto deal. However, the prospect of getting Corbin in return may be more exciting for some than for others. The Padres crossed the luxury tax line last year and are facing it this year, seemingly unwilling to cross it for the second straight season and thus facing mounting penalties. Rumor has it that they are trying to trade one of their pitchers to make room on the payroll for additions elsewhere. The sudden acquisition of another expensive starter who is not doing very well runs counter to those plans. Although, perhaps Soto’s availability is such a unique situation that it forces everything to be rethought.

The Cardinals’ opening day wages were $155 million per crib, slightly short of their record of $164 million. Adding $14 million to break into record territory is probably an acceptable result this year, but it will get tricky in the coming years. Adam Wainwright$17.5 million is the largest contract to close at the end of the year, but there is likely to be mutual interest in another deal based on precedent. He’s having another great season and is likely to get a similar deal. Yadier Molina$10 million disappears from the ledgers, although Soto and Corbin will add about $50 million to it, and the Cards will still have to find a solution at the plate.

The Mets already have a huge payroll, but there don’t seem to be any limits in that regard. Owner Steve Cohen has expressed a willingness to spend funds beyond CBT’s fourth hurdle, which the club has already passed. Jason Martinez of Roster Resource calculated their CBT number to be $290.1 ​​million, slightly over the $290 million barrier. However, regardless of the financial picture, the question remains whether the Nats are interested in trading Soto within the division. SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Soto’s landing with the Mets is highly unlikely as the Nuts are not interested in Soto returning to Washington in new uniforms so often.

The Giants and Mariners may be in a better position than these other teams to get a decent salary to get Soto. The Giants’ opening day salary was $155 million, but it rose to $201 million a few years ago. They also have some decent money written off this winter. Carlos Rodon earns $21.5 million and can withdraw if he scores 110 innings. Considering he’s 105 now and having another great season, he’s a virtual lock to induce this rejection. Brandon Belt has accepted an $18.4 million qualifying offer and will return to the open market in a few months. Brandon Crawford earns $16 million this year and next, but will become a free agent after that. The only guaranteed contract they have on the books for 2024 is the $12 million they owe Anthony DeSclafani. The Mariners opened the year at $104 million per crib, but have been in the $150-$160 range in recent years.

As for the Yankees and Dodgers, they both have high salaries, but they might still like the idea of ​​a Corbin contract. Recent reports have shown that both clubs are suspicious of destroying their farming systems in order to acquire Soto, despite his talents. Dealing with Corbin and reducing potential impact should appeal to both clubs.

Of course, all this still seems to be a search on the part of the citizens. Getting rid of Corbyn’s money is certainly attractive, but they will also have to weigh that against the offers they receive without Corbyn’s involvement. If one team offers, say, six prospects but doesn’t want Corbin, would the Nuts really take a smaller package just to take Corbin out? At least there is a precedent given that the Red Sox included David Price in Mookie Betts to deal with. The situations are not exactly the same, however, as the Red Sox had overcome the luxury tax in the previous two seasons and were primarily interested in reducing their roster to save money. As for NAT, they are already operating with a budget significantly lower than previous seasons and should in theory be more concerned with maximizing their profit potential on any Soto deal.

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