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Report: Juan Soto rejects Nationals’ contract offer, could be traded

All-Star outfielder could be dealt before the trade deadline.

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Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after hitting a three run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on July 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Washington Nationals All-Star OF Juan Soto rejected the latest contract offer of $440 million, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Soto is open to being traded by the Nationals prior to the deadline this season. The MLB Trade Deadline this season is August 2. Per Rosenthal, Soto rejected a contract offer of 15 years at $440 million, which would make him the highest paid player in baseball.

Soto, 23, is in his fifth MLB season and is set to make his second straight All-Star Game appearance next Tuesday. Soto will also partake in the Home Run Derby on Monday night. So far this season, he’s batting .247 with 19 HRs and 42 RBI for the Nationals, who are in last place in the NL East at 30-62. Washington won the World Series with Soto back in 2019 before losing ace Max Scherzer via trade. Other players to depart since then include Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman among others.

Soto clearly doesn’t want to be part of a long rebuilding process with the Nationals by turning down the contract, which would run until the end of Soto’s career. The earliest Soto could become an unrestricted free agent would be in the 2025 offseason. The Nationals could deal Soto to another team which can give him an insane contract.

Rosenthal mentions agent Scott Boras could line up Soto to hit free agency and seek a contract of more than $500 million. That may not be 15 years in length since Soto would be 26 years old. There are also only a few teams that can hand out such a deal. Washington GM Mike Rizzo has stated he doesn’t want to trade Soto. That sentiment has changed since the most recent rejection, per Rosenthal.