All eyes will be on Juan Soto over the next 13 days. With the annual amateur draft and the All-Star Game now in the rearview, what numbers will be a frenzied and compressed summer trading market, and it will work. Soto’s recent rejection of a $440 million 15-year contract extension has already generated countless headlines, and the announcement of his subsequent availability on the trading market will generate unprecedented intrigue.
Agent Scott Boras addressed Soto’s decision to drop the biggest full guarantee in MLB history this week, first in an interview with The New York Times’ James Wagner and then with The New York Post’s Joel Sherman and John Heyman. their podcast “The Show”. There were many factors in the decision, but Boras suggested that the average annual cost, potential franchise sale, and uncertainty about the team’s direction all mattered a lot.
[Related: Looking for a Match in a Juan Soto Trade]
“I don’t think anyone would want to work for someone they don’t know,” Boras told Wagner. “So it’s kind of like a ghost contract. We don’t know who will pay. So when you’re a player like Juan, you’re winning and you want to make sure there’s a lot more stuff involved than dollars and cents and who you’re going to work for and where you’re going to be. for most”.
In his talk with Sherman and Heyman, Boras talked about the respect Soto has for the Lerner family and the commitment they have shown to winning over the years, but the direction of the new ownership group is currently unknown. Even if the goal is a quick return to contention, the Nationals’ dull farming system, lack of major league talent in their current roster, and the strong division they play in all combine to make an immediate rebound unlikely. Soto certainly knows about this.
“Juan Soto has a ring on his finger and he had people he knew and trusted from the beginning of the franchise, but now this group of people said, ‘We’re going to move on and assign this team to another.’ group,” Boras said, referring to the likely sale of the franchise by the Lerner family. “…When you are a player, you can say that you are offered something, but this does not entail intentions. [of ownership] and the security of victory are player goals that go beyond economic ones.”
As you might expect, the potential sale of the Nationals is a complicating factor for both renewal and trade talks. It’s understandable if Soto prefers to wait to see what happens to the franchise to get a feel for the new owner’s mentality. Conversely, whether Soto is on the team or not will affect the sale of the team itself. Unsurprisingly, Boras believes Soto is an asset that will increase the team’s appeal to potential buyers, as “billionaires definitely like their choice” and will want to choose whether to build around Soto or commit to a speedy recovery.
ESPN’s Buster Olney sees things differently, saying on Baseball Tonight’s podcast yesterday that the game’s executives believe the new owners will want the situation resolved one way or another before taking over. With no renewal likely planned, this would mean closing the deal before the sale of the team takes place. Of course, we don’t yet know who the new owners will be, so this is a speculative view of the scenario (much like Boras’s belief that the new owners will want to be able to make their own choices).
However, even in the absence of current ownership uncertainty, Boras seemed to hint that the Nationals’ offer would not be enough. As we have seen from Aaron Judge getting an annual salary commensurate with baseball’s top stars before the season starts seems important to Soto.
“Juan Soto’s rarity is 19 to 23 so he really set himself apart to be in a very small group in Major League history in performance levels,” Boras said.[Those players] will be at the highest level of annual averages, and yet the offer has placed it well below the top group, in the #15 or 20 range.”
All of this further reinforces the reality that Soto will at least be available for negotiation over the next two weeks, but it’s completely unclear if either team will agree to the historic asking price. Olney suggested in that previously mentioned segment that the Nationals would want Major League-ready talent to lead the comeback and, it should be noted, added that the Yankees and Dodgers are at least somewhat wary of giving up the huge potential value that will possess Soto. . The Yankees, of course, also have to consider the future of their own superstar outfielder (referee) coupled with any theoretical scenarios from Soto, which only further complicates the equation on their part.
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