Report: Nats will entertain Soto trade offers after $440M contract offer rejected
The offer would have given Soto the biggest contract in baseball history, surpassing the 12-year, $426-million deal handed to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout in 2019.
This marks the Nationals' third contract offer to Soto over the past few months and didn't include any deferred money, which is a departure from the club's usual preference, according to Rosenthal.
The willingness to discuss trade possibilities for Soto represents a shift for Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who said last month that the club had no interest in moving the 23-year-old.
Soto isn't scheduled to reach free agency until following the 2024 season. After he rejected the Nationals' latest record-breaking proposal, the team altered its perception of the situation and now believes it will be unsuccessful in keeping Soto long term, sources told Rosenthal.
Despite the rumblings that his time in Washington might be nearing an end, Soto says he's still open to remaining with the Nationals.
"This is the team I've been with since 2015, and I feel good with," Soto said Saturday, according to MASN's Mark Zuckerman. "I get to know the city well, and it feels great. Why should I need to change?"
With the news of Soto's availability circulating around the baseball world, rival general managers are already expecting the price tag to be astronomical to pry such a talented player from the Nationals. "The biggest trade package ever," one GM told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Soto is still having a strong season, though it is a bit of a down year compared to his first few campaigns. He owns an .895 OPS with 19 home runs and 42 RBIs.