Washington Nationals may have blown their chance with Juan Soto

Jul 16, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) jogs after hitting a fly ball out against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) jogs after hitting a fly ball out against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Washington Nationals had been trying to sign Juan Soto to a long term extension. They may have ruined any chance of that happening.

Word had gotten out on Saturday that Soto had turned down the Nationals’ latest extension offer – a 15 year deal worth $440 million. With that being the case, the Nationals are now reportedly willing to entertain trade offers for their superstar.

Juan Soto upset with Washington Nationals

That may be the Nationals’ only path forward. Even if Soto was interested in staying in Washington, that time may have come and gone. According to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, Soto was upset that those negotiations have gone public as he is a very private person. He also noted that made things uncomfortable heading into the All Star Break but it is something he will deal with.

Soto has been clear that the money is not necessarily a motivator when it comes to an extension. He wants evidence that the Nationals are looking to win, and win soon, before he commits to staying in town. Getting back to the playoffs and having the chance to win another title clearly means a great deal.

The Nationals were already in a tough spot due to those demands. They are in the midst of a rebuilding process and already have a large amount of money tied up in the memory of Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin’s bloated corpse. Other short term upgrades would be costly as well even with their young core coming up.

Soto would be a perfect building block as an established star at just 23 years old. He is also going to be extremely expensive and could keep the team from adding those other needed pieces depending on who the new owner is. A trade may be the best option for both sides at this point unless the Nationals can find a way to salvage the relationship.

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Juan Soto is upset that contract negotiations have been leaked to the media. The Washington Nationals may have blown their chance to keep their star.