Nationals' Juan Soto 'Can't Do Anything About' Trade Rumors After Rejecting Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

The Washington Post

The future of Juan Soto is one of the biggest stories in MLB, but the Washington Nationals star is trying to maintain distance from the swirl of rumors.

Asked Monday about the possibility of being traded, Soto told reporters: "I can't do anything about it. I have my hands tied."


"I can't do anything about it, I have my hands tied. I'm just going to play as hard as I can."<br><br>- Juan Soto on trade rumors <a href="https://t.co/i6T0l39IAo">pic.twitter.com/i6T0l39IAo</a>

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Soto turned down a 15-year, $440 million offer from the Nationals and that Washington is open to trade offers for its best player.

Soto's long-term status in Washington was a topic of conversation prior to Rosenthal's report.

The 23-year-old is one of the best hitters in MLB and a generational talent. He's also due to hit free agency in 2025 and could feasibly be the first player in baseball history to sign a $500 million contract.

In the wake of Rosenthal's report, Soto finds himself in an unenviable position.

The two-time All-Star will inevitably be viewed as greedy by a subset of fans because he declined $440 million. Taking that position ignores how his $29.3 million annual salary would rank 15th now and fall lower down the list as bigger deals are handed out over the next decade and change.

In addition, Soto has to spend the next two weeks wondering if the Nationals will trade him before the Aug. 2 deadline. If he remains on the roster, the cycle will restart in the offseason in the absence of a multiyear extension.

Compounding matters, the Nats have the worst record (31-63) in baseball. Soto doesn't even have the excitement of a playoff race to take his mind off whether his team intends to keep him beyond the season.

As the decorated outfielder said, all he can focus on is his individual performance in order to drown out the outside noise.


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