Passan further notes in a tweet that the 23-year-old Soto finished as the runner-up in the 2021 NL MVP vote and is off to a “historically great start” to his career.
“He’s due to hit free agency after the 2024 season, when he’ll just have turned 26, and could smash contract records,” Passan writes.
In his report, Rojas said that if Soto and the Nationals had signed the contract, the average salary would’ve been nearly $27 million through 2034. He also pointed out that the deal would’ve been the third-largest contract extension in history in terms of total amount of money, trailing only Mookie Betts’ 12-year, $365 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mike Trout’s 10-year, $360 contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Soto was the Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2018 after collecting 22 home runs and 70 RBIs in just 116 games, and posted his breakout season in 2019. That year, the lefty recorded career-highs in home runs (34), RBIs (110), steals (12), doubles (32) and triples (five) while finishing ninth in the NL MVP vote and helping Washington win the World Series.
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, Soto led all of baseball in batting average (.351), on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695) and OPS (1.185), while earning his first Silver Slugger award. In 2021, he was a first-time All-Star and captured his second Silver Slugger, behind a 29-home run, 95-RBI campaign where he led the league in walks (145), intentional walks (23) and on-base percentage (.465), and had career-bests in hits (157) and runs scored (111).