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MLB Rumors: Juan Soto, Nationals 'Intensifying' Talks on 13-Year, $425M Contract

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Juan Soto could be close to a new contract with the Washington Nationals after the team offered a 13-year, $425 million extension, per Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital.

Gomez reported "talks are intensifying" between the two sides.

The latest offer is a significant increase over the initial $350 million offer from the Nationals.

If the two sides agree, the new deal would put Soto just short of the largest contact in MLB history set by Mike Trout with his 12-year, $426.5 million deal signed in 2019.

The right fielder cannot become a free agent until after the 2024 season, but his salary will only rise until then as he goes through two more years of arbitration. The two sides agreed to a $17.1 million contract for 2022 while avoiding arbitration.

The Nationals also might want to lock down the outfielder before letting him reach free agency, especially after losing top homegrown players like Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in recent seasons.

Soto already has an impressive resume for a 23-year-old. He won the batting title two years ago (.351) and finished second in NL MVP voting last year after hitting .313 and 29 home runs with a league-leading .465 on-base percentage.

In 2019, Soto was a key part in helping the Nationals win their first World Series in franchise history. The left-handed slugger hit .333 with three home runs during the seven-game series against the Houston Astros.

The 2022 season hasn't gone as well as the Dominican Republic native might have hoped, hitting just .224 through 76 games. However, he has remained productive with a .375 on-base percentage thanks to a league-high 63 walks. He also leads the Nationals with 14 home runs and 43 runs scored.

If Soto continues to improve, he could be worth every penny of the reported extension.

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