MLB rumors: Nationals to 'entertain' Juan Soto trade after he rejects huge offer

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Report: Nationals to 'entertain' Juan Soto trade after he rejects huge offer originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 MLB trade deadline just got a whole lot more interesting.

One of the best players in baseball, Juan Soto, has rejected a 15-year, $440 million contract from the Washington Nationals, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. That contract would be the largest in league history. Rosenthal also reports that the Nationals will now "entertain" trading Soto.

Soto is just 23 years old but already has an impressive resume at the major league level.

Tomase: Would Red Sox really trade a core player? Don't rule it out

He hit 29 home runs with 99 RBI and an absurd .465 on-base percentage in 151 games last season. He's been a bit less productive in 2022 with a .247 batting average, 19 homers, 42 RBI and a .405 on-base percentage over 89 games. Soto also had a fantastic postseason run in 2019 when he helped lead the Nationals to the franchise's first World Series title.

The Nationals don't have to move Soto in the immediate future. The superstar outfielder has two more years of arbitration and cannot become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2024 season.

It will be interesting to see how Soto being available impacts teams' plans ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline. He is a generational talent who hasn't even hit the prime of his career yet.

That said, acquiring Soto isn't just going to cost a massive package of prospects and other pieces. Any team that trades for Soto also will need to pay a historic figure to sign him long term. There's no point in giving up a bounty of top prospects for Soto only to not re-sign him before he reaches free agency.

Re-signing young stars to lucrative long-term extensions isn't easy. The Boston Red Sox were unable to reach an extension with former AL MVP Mookie Betts and ultimately traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. The Red Sox are going through it right now with Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts.