Juan Soto is one of the best players in baseball, arguably the best hitter in baseball, and has the best plate discipline in the league. Regarded as the next Ted Williams, Soto is due for a massive extension, or contract with a new squad. The original price of $350 million has now ballooned to $425 million over 13 years.
That $425 million would be the second-largest contract in MLB history. Mike Trout would still hold the heaviest chunk of change with a $426.5 million total salary. If the final price stays at $425 million or goes up higher than Trout’s it still begs the question how much is too much?
The Case for Soto’s Bag
Juan Soto has started his career in a fashion that only hasn’t been seen many times before. Ted Williams is a standard comparison, but in the modern era players like Harper and Trout are the only comparables. Even then Soto is not exactly like those guys, in many facets he’s the best in the business.
Juan Soto is not an uber-athletic freak athlete and hasn’t always been great in the field defensively. However, his game is at the plate along with facilitating an exorbitant amount of walks. He hasn’t looked back since getting his opportunity at the age of 19. A consistent .400 OBP guy with an all-around game in his bat. He’s slugged as high as .695 for a season and has been at the top of the league in both OPS+ and WRC+ (whichever you prefer).
When looking at just this season as we near the all-star break, it’s clear Soto is having a disappointing season by his standards. There is one stat of his that hasn’t waivered yet, walks. Soto has the best eye in baseball, over his 5-year career he has sported an 18.7 BB%. His mark this season is pretty close to that career average as he sits at 18.9%. This season Soto has more than 10 than the next batter in terms of total bases on balls. The kid is ridiculous.
He also has pop in his bat along with a piercing gaze at pitches outside the zone. Soto is not the clear-cut best power hitter in baseball, but his home run rate is 4.8%, a solid amount higher than the MLB average (3.3%). These are a lot of numbers to throw at you, but one overall thing is clear, he contributes to giving his team a better shot at winning. He’s led the league in bWAR once before and it won’t be surprising to see him do it again in the future.
Juan Soto Deserves It
In other words, give the guy his money. It doesn’t have to be the Nationals, although I’m sure they would love to keep him. There are plenty of squads who can get that cash to Soto, even if they already have high payrolls. If Soto hits the free market, the rush for him will be ridiculous. We would be looking at a guy who could end up being the best player of a generation, wide open to pursue around the age of 25.
So if it isn’t the Nats it could be the Dodgers, Yankees, Cubs, Padres? Who knows as of right now, but if the Nats want to keep their franchise face around, there will have to be a lot of cash coughed up.
Read more about Juan Soto.
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