The Washington Nationals have traded 23-year-old Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres. The 2022 Homerun Derby champion will join Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, making the Padres legitimate World Series contenders. The Nationals, who currently own the worst record in baseball, add a ton of young talent including top prospect, James Wood. After turning down a $440 million, 15-year contract with the Nationals, a trade was inevitable.
How could anyone possibly turn down nearly half a billion dollars? For a 23-year-old, $440 million is certainly generational money. To say turning down the Nationals offer was a smart move is definitely an understatement. I understand the amount of money offered was jaw dropping, but longevity of the contract paired with the current standing of the Nationals made Soto’s decision a no brainer. 15 years is the rest of your career. Also, $440 million over 15 years is only $29.3 million a year. Top stars in salary capped sports are easily making $10 million+ more a year. Baseball still has no salary cap. While numbers on Soto’s contract with the Padres aren’t currently public, you have to believe one of baseball's best can make more money and potentially play for more championships in that same period of time. Legends aren’t defined by how much money they have made, but how many championships they have won and records they have broken.
Even though I can’t say this was a good trade for the Nationals, it was most certainly a win for the Padres, Juan Soto and the popularity of the game of baseball. Expect fireworks to come out of San Diego. With the addition of Juan Soto and Tatis Jr. coming back from injury, the Padres should make an exciting run towards the World Series.