David Ortiz is a baseball legend. So when he speaks, his words speak volumes. “Big Papi” was critical of fellow Dominican star Juan Soto for turning down massive money from his former team before getting traded.
Before Juan Soto played for the San Diego Padres, he was a young phenom for the Nats. In Washington, he won a World Series at the age of 20. His charisma and hitting prowess made him one of the biggest rising stars in Major League Baseball.
Baseball pundits expected Soto would be the first $500 million player in the sport. So, when the Nationals offered a 15-year, $440 million contract, Soto and his super agent Scott Boras balked.
Soto and the Nationals were unable to agree on a contract extension. The Nats saw no end game in negotiations and traded Soto and Josh Bell last August to San Diego for a massive haul.
Ortiz chimed in about Soto’s contract situation with Abriendo el Juego.
“Anyone who knows this business knows that you don’t say no to that offer,” Ortiz said, per Talk Nats’ translation. “They were going to put his name on that franchise. what do you do with $500 million that you can’t do with $440 million?”
Soto had the Nats at beckoning needs. However, his intent to hit the $500 mark kept him from getting a huge payday. Various reports detailed there were a lot of variables to the Nats’ offers to Soto.
The $440 million would have trumped Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout’s $426 million for the largest MLB contract. However, the length of the deal may have kept Soto at the middle of the pack in average annual value.
That discrepancy was a deal breaker. Soto vowed that he was content to play year-to-year until his arbitration ran out. This season, Soto is making $23 million. He will be under team control through the 2024 season, meaning he has one more year of arbitration before hitting free agency.
Juan Soto has played 124 games for the Padres. He has yet to make an impact as he did for five seasons with the Nats. The two-time All-Star and 2020 NL batting champion may be losing money as he struggles.
The evidence will determine if Soto made a mistake in turning down $440 million. Meanwhile, the Nats appear happy and content moving forward with the players returned for Soto.