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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Juan Soto trade rumors: Nationals may be ‘motivated’ to trade outfielder

Would trading Juan Soto be the start of a long National nightmare?

Even though the 23-year-old Soto is under team control for two more seasons, the outfielder’s time in a Nationals uniform may be coming to an end sooner than you’d think.

ESPN’s Buster Olney, citing rival MLB executives, reports that the “Nationals might well be compelled — and motivated — to move Soto this summer.”


Likely fueling the Soto trade speculation is the offseason rumor that he turned down a $350 million contract extension with the team. Soto is represented by super agent Scott Boras, and Boras clients routinely opt for free agency rather than signing extensions.

The Blue Jays and the Padres were named as two potential suitors for Soto’s talents, though the trade market hasn’t exactly manifested at this point.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2022 at 03:41 PM | 78 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan soto, nationals

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   1. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 18, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6077357)
If you're trading Juan Soto, what's the point of having baseball players?
   2. . . . . . . Posted: May 18, 2022 at 03:48 PM (#6077360)
The Yankees should be ALL OVER this to keep Judge's ask in line.

Message to Boras back channel is, we're there at a huge number if you can force a trade to us at favorable terms.
Message to Judge's agent is, if we trade for Soto we are out of the Judge market, he's younger and better and maybe the only player in the whole league we can get to make the fans not care that we didn't resign you

Then have the two of them bid against each other.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 18, 2022 at 03:54 PM (#6077362)
If you're trading Juan Soto, what's the point of having baseball players?

If you trade a 23 y.o. who projects as a 7 win player for the foreseeable future, your franchise should be contracted.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: May 18, 2022 at 04:02 PM (#6077363)
and what's the point of being a Nats fan?

Sheer idiocy. They're an immensely wealthy team. Just sign the man for 15 years at whatever ridiculous amount that requires and save some money contracting 15 different Soto bobbleheads ahead of time.
   5. The Duke Posted: May 18, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6077368)
This has been rumored a lot recently. I hope the Cardinals are in on this. For a good team, they've got a great farm right now. You have to try really hard for Soto (assuming he's open to an extension ) if he's out there.

I got to figure the trade has to be one one major league ready guy and 2-3 top 100s. Presumably if you are trading Soto, you don't want a lot of major league talent back.

The other thing you have is Strausburg and Corbin who can be added to a trade to pull down the trade value. It seems like they have to go in a deal if money is the ultimate issue.

Lot of moving parts to get a deal done.

This has Yankees written all over it
   6. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 18, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6077370)
Soto is young, and excellent, and pre-FA. He is exactly the player that a rebuilding team should want. He's maximally valuable.

This had better just be a stupid rumor.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 18, 2022 at 05:16 PM (#6077375)
If you're trading Juan Soto, what's the point of having baseball players?

To get cheaper baseball players, enabling the owner to invest the savings in a larger and/or additional yacht.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6077377)
Aren't the Nats rumored to be on the market soon? You'd think they'd hold off on a franchise-altering move like this until a new owner was found.
   9. Zach Posted: May 18, 2022 at 06:49 PM (#6077386)
Soto is not the kind of guy you trade away.
   10. Zach Posted: May 18, 2022 at 06:59 PM (#6077388)
Joe Posnanski had a great rant about Paul DePodesta's stint as Browns GM.

It was something along the line of DePodesta liking draft capital more than players. He liked it so much that he would trade all his good players for draft capital, then trade his picks for even more draft capital. But he'd never just take a running back because the team needed a running back and a quality guy was available. The team would get endlessly richer in draft capital and endlessly poorer on the field.

I think that applies here. If you trade Juan Soto for prospects, then what is the point of prospects?

Edit: coke to #1, who said it better.
   11. The Duke Posted: May 18, 2022 at 07:27 PM (#6077391)
Assuming you get Soto signed, which kind of has to be a prerequisite of a trade, you are getting what 60-100 WAR? What group of prospects in any org are likely to return that ? I doubt the Nationals will want just a 2.5 year return - they'll want a return which reflects the acquiring team getting a chance to sign him.

On the acquiring side, if Boras says we aren't talking until free agency, I doubt I give up the farm for him. Maybe if I'm the Dodgers or Astros or brewers, I do it. Imagine the Brewers with Soto for a couple years.

zips had him at 80 WAR a year ago and 60 WAR after last season
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 18, 2022 at 09:47 PM (#6077415)
You guys realize the whole source for this story is "rival MLB executives," right? Of course the Nats' rivals think the Nats should trade Juan Soto.
   13. shoelesjoe Posted: May 18, 2022 at 09:50 PM (#6077417)
I see a lot of people assuming the Nats can keep Soto at such 'n such a price if only they'd pony up. They forget that contract negotiations aren't a one-way street, and that the player has a big say in where he ends up and how much $$$ he'll get. Perhaps Soto has let it be known that he's leaving DC at his first opportunity, which would pretty much force the Nationals to deal him to the highest bidder ASAP. I'm guessing Soto wants to be a Yankee, and they'll work a trade for 4-5 overrated prospects and then extend him for something like 15/$750 million.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: May 18, 2022 at 10:13 PM (#6077421)
I'm guessing Soto wants to be a Yankee, and they'll work a trade for 4-5 overrated prospects and then extend him for something like 15/$750 million.

why not a Met? their owner has a lot more money than the Yankees do
   15. shoelesjoe Posted: May 18, 2022 at 10:21 PM (#6077423)
why not a Met? their owner has a lot more money than the Yankees do


Mets don't play their home games in a little league park.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 18, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6077426)
You guys realize the whole source for this story is "rival MLB executives," right? Of course the Nats' rivals think the Nats should trade Juan Soto.
And those ‘sources’ may be responding to the reporter’s hypothetical question about a potential Soto trade.
Perhaps Soto has let it be known that he's leaving DC at his first opportunity, which would pretty much force the Nationals to deal him to the highest bidder ASAP.
Anything is possible, but I haven’t seen anything indicating Soto wants out, and the Nationals have 2 more years to build around him if he’s looking for another World Series ring.
   17. The Duke Posted: May 18, 2022 at 11:03 PM (#6077435)
Don't ruin the rumor with a bunch of well-reasoned arguments. It was in the press, so he must be going.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: May 19, 2022 at 01:09 AM (#6077450)
Sure Soto might be so disgusted with DC that he'll turn down $450 M and risk that nothing happens over the next 2+ years. Human history suggests that's not very likely to happen.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 19, 2022 at 01:20 AM (#6077451)
[18] The fact that Soto has Scott Boras as an agent makes me think there's a good chance he doesn't sign an extension before free agency. He may go the Max Scherzer route and buy some insurance in case he suffers a major injury that prevents him from getting a mega contract.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 19, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6077463)
Sure Soto might be so disgusted with DC that he'll turn down $450 M and risk that nothing happens over the next 2+ years. Human history suggests that's not very likely to happen.

Agree, and I also think the Nationals should be willing to pay more for Soto than any other team. For them, he can be a franchise defining player, their first home-grown HoFer. The star that cements a generation of local kids as die hard fans.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: May 19, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6077464)

"Mr. Soto, I have a Mr. Conforto on Line 1 - he says he'd like a word with you about a Mr. Boras..."
   22. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 19, 2022 at 11:19 AM (#6077467)
For them, he can be a franchise defining player, their first home-grown HoFer. The star that cements a generation of local kids as die hard fans.


He probably won't be their first home-grown HOFer (that will be Harper). But yes to the rest
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 19, 2022 at 11:44 AM (#6077468)
He probably won't be their first home-grown HOFer (that will be Harper). But yes to the rest

Yeah, I meant the first one to spend most of his career in Washington (assuming a long-term deal).
   24. Adam Starblind Posted: May 19, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6077470)
Soto is not the kind of guy you trade away.


Nor is Trey Turner.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: May 19, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6077471)
Joe Posnanski had a great rant about Paul DePodesta's stint as Browns GM.

It was something along the line of DePodesta liking draft capital more than players. He liked it so much that he would trade all his good players for draft capital, then trade his picks for even more draft capital. But he'd never just take a running back because the team needed a running back and a quality guy was available. The team would get endlessly richer in draft capital and endlessly poorer on the field.
The timeline doesn't really match with this. He is still GM I think, and they haven't been endlessly poorer on the field - which wasn't really even possible given how low the baseline was. They have a good RB that they drafted in the 2nd round.
   26. Jack Sommers Posted: May 19, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6077473)
Just give him 10 years 400M, with 3 mutual options for years 11-12-13 and some kind of buyout structure, but no opt outs.

Through Age 23, min 1700 PA, OPS+ >+ 150

The only ones higher than Soto in the last 80 years are Ted Williams and Stan Musial. (I don't count Albert as he was really 25)

Now you have a DH in the NL too.

No excuses. JFC, just do it and get it over with.
   27. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 19, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6077475)
The only ones higher than Soto in the last 80 years are Ted Williams and Stan Musial. (I don't count Albert as he was really 25)


Why doesn't Trout count? Not that including him would detract from the point.
   28. The Duke Posted: May 19, 2022 at 01:57 PM (#6077483)
The difference between Conforto and Soto is that he'll already have banked a small fortune before free agency. Life is full of risks but he's got a pretty high reward-risk ratio here. And the story here isn't so much Soto but the Nationals ownership potentially looking for an exit.

If Boras isn't willing to talk deal with a new suitor the return will be good but not awesome. You can't mortgage the future for two years of anyone
   29. Mefisto Posted: May 19, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6077485)
Depending on how you count Mantle's age (he has a Nov birthday), he was either 149 or 156.

If you give Mays the 1700 PA that would make him 24, but he missed 1.75 seasons to the military. He's at 155 over that period.

Again, neither of these detracts from the point.
   30. Itchy Row Posted: May 19, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6077486)
This might be the Posnanski article about the Browns, but I seem to remember something like it from earlier than 2017.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: May 19, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6077492)
his might be the Posnanski article about the Browns, but I seem to remember something like it from earlier than 2017.
Thanks.
   32. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 19, 2022 at 02:45 PM (#6077494)
I don't understand the "he's worth more in trade if the acquiring team can sign him to a big extension" line of thought.

Acquired player isn't going to sign for something substantially below market value. Which means that the wins he's going to provide for you, you could buy on the market, for pretty much the same price as you're giving to the guy you're signing to an extension. Now, a really good player like Soto will cram more wins into one position. You're not going to replace an 8 WAR outfielder. But that just means that he's more valuable than two 4 win players (for example), and so will demand an accordingly larger amount for his extension. There isn't extra net value in signing a high-WAR player, because you end up paying more for each win that they give you.*

Unless you're acquiring a player long before they hit FA, you're going to pay basically market rate for them, and a team shouldn't be willing to pay anything to take on a contract signed at market rate. (To be clear, signing a guy for market rate is okay. But it doesn't make sense to trade anything for a guy being paid the market rate, because you're then essentially paying above market rate.)

* - second thoughts. Maybe teams aren't willing to pay more per win to concentrate those wins in one player. When Trout signed his contract he was projected as a 9 WAR player going forward, and wins were selling for about $8m each. So he should have cost the Angels $63m/per, which, of course, he didn't. Given that it's more valuable to have lots of wins in one spot in the lineup than the same amount spread over multiple spots, they should have been willing to go to $63 (and above - since he's so productive, Trout's wins should have been priced higher than average). So maybe it makes sense to trade extra players for the right to sign a soon-to-be FA because teams are irrational and undervalue superstars. BUT (third thoughts), if teams were irrational and undervalued superstars, they wouldn't be willing to trade extra players for the right to sign a superstar.

So, either teams are rational in what they pay for FAs, in which case it doesn't make any sense to trade players for the right to sign a superstar to a market-rate contract extension. Or they irrationally undervalue superstars, but in that case they wouldn't be willing to trade the extra players (because they undervalue the superstar).

Assuming that all teams think the same way, it follows that either it's irrational to trade players for the right to sign someone to an extension, or else teams won't do it. (Sounds just like baseball teams - they'll do something only if it's irrational to do it.) However, it could be the case that one team properly values superstars and the others don't. In THAT case, trading extra players for the right to sign a guy to a contract extension would be rational, because the market would undervalue him.
   33. Zach Posted: May 19, 2022 at 03:00 PM (#6077496)
#30 -- Great find! That was the one I was thinking of.

Pull quote:

My friend Dayton Moore, the general manager of the Kansas City Royals, told me something a while ago that has stuck with me. He said that when he hires scouts, one of the most important ingredients is that the scout "likes players." I know that sounds strange, but stay with me here.

The thing about scouting is that it is easier, much easier, to see the flaws than it is to see the potential. The vast majority of players don't make it. In a sense, as a scout, you are going out on a limb every single time you say that you believe in a player ... even a hyped player. The easiest answer for any scout is always, "No." If you file a report that says, "Doesn't have the skills to be a Major League/NFL/NBA/NHL star," you will be right 1,000-times more often than you will be wrong.

But "No," doesn't DO anything. No doesn't build teams. No certainly doesn't build championships. This is why Dayton Moore wants scouts who like players, who see the good in players, who will fight for players, who will risk being wrong again and again because being right means so much.
   34. Adam Starblind Posted: May 19, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6077502)
The exclusive negotiating window with a superstar is worth something, and there is no real market rate because you’re not negotiating in a market. All you can do is approximate. If you’re the Yankees and would definitely sign him to a $500 million dollar deal, but you suspect the Mets are willing to beat any offer you make, you sign him now before they have the chance.
   35. The Duke Posted: May 19, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6077504)
The cardinals have made a business model of trading for players and then signing them to long term contracts and in most cases I think part of the deal was either pre-negotiating a deal or getting some validation that the player was open to a deal on X terms. They have done this with Rolen, Edmonds, Holliday, Goldschmidt. You obviously can't do that if they aren't on your roster and free agency is a bidding war for players like this (usually ).

The cardinals view, often expressed in interviews, is that they feel like they can win over a player after they experience baseball in St Louis whereas they can't do that in free agency. Arenado is another good example - he had an NTC and forced the STL trade because he wanted to go there.
   36. Moeball Posted: May 19, 2022 at 03:52 PM (#6077507)
#33 this raises an interesting point. Bill James has talked about teams that are so focused on the negatives that they overlook the positives. An old example is Pete Incaviglia back in the 1980s. Montreal drafted him for his potential but concluded he had poor strike zone judgement and was a butcher in the field and therefore needed some time in the minor leagues for seasoning. Pete balked and said he was ready for the majors right away. So they were at a standoff. Finally an exasperated Montreal front office traded him to Texas where they put him in the starting lineup immediately. Here's how Pete's rookie season in 1986 went: he indeed had poor strike zone judgement, striking out over 180 times. He was a lousy defensive outfielder, too. He also batted .250, hit 30 HRs and drove in almost 100 runs. In all of MLB history there has never been a time when hitters who can put up those kinds of numbers can't find a job, probably as a starter on some team. Montreal was so focused on the negatives they couldn't see the positives. Was Incaviglia a great player? No. But he had a serviceable career for several years and he clearly was good enough to play at the major league level even if the Expos couldn't see it.

Just a cautionary tale about what happens if the scouting focuses too much on what a player can't do and doesn't recognize what the player can do.
   37. Karl from NY Posted: May 19, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6077512)
I don't understand the "he's worth more in trade if the acquiring team can sign him to a big extension" line of thought.

The case where this applies is for teams who have trouble acquiring free agents at market value in general. Maybe there's a more glamorous crosstown team, or the team has a stadium unfriendly to that type of player, or the city has some bad reputation for some reason. I've long thought the Mets should stress a trade-and-extend strategy (like with Johan Santana), since the Yankees are always going to be a more attractive bidder for the same dollars.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: May 19, 2022 at 04:40 PM (#6077520)
#32 ... no, Trout was (in theory) going to be worth $60 M the next year and maybe for the next few years; then, as he aged, he would likely produce less and less value. Nobody was projecting that from ages 27-38, Trout would produce 108 WAR. Like any long-term MLB FA (or FA extension) contract, you expect to be underpaying the player in the early years and overpaying on the back end.

Now the Angels still got a heck of a bargain and there's no way a healthy Trout will make back the $20+ M per year he's "left on the table" in these early years. In small part that was offering him the monster extension 2 years before he was FA ... same situation as Soto; as Stanton; and even moreso Tatis and some others. (Of course also the same as Ryan Howard back in the day.) There's also no deferment in the contract making it closer to face value than most other such deals. But those add up to a few million here or there. Still, the Angels are paying for something along the lines of 50-55 WAR which is not trivial even for Trout -- between 2020 and last year's injury, he's only on a 50 WAR pace but still producing at about a 9-WAR pace this season. (We really could use a NPV for projected value ... it's probably closer to $6.)

So I found an article by Ben Lindbergh from the time of the signing that I skimmed. Pecota put him at 80 WAR, ZiPS more conservative at 66 and it cites some analyst I've never heard of who put the break-even point at 45 WAR. So Pecota put it at about 6.5 WAR per year; ZiPS at 5.5 WAR per year; paying for 3.5-4 WAR per year ... so yeah, a great deal for the Angels.

Anyway, nobody's gonna offer Soto 10/$600 for his FA years. Or if they did, it would be deferred out over 30 years or something. Boras is clearly an obstinate fellow but he knows Soto's not gonna even get close to $50 M a year -- part of the problem there being that Trout probably had the chance to break the $40 M barrier but didn't and it's easy to say to any player "you're not better than Mike Trout." Now Boras might well think 10/$400 or a bit better (now that Scherzer and Bauer have broken the $40 barrier on short-term contracts) will be there in two years but that's when you remind him that's in two years.

I can't read Boras's mind but if he wouldn't recommend a 12/$450 extension to Soto, he'd be making a mistake. Boras always likes a record or barrier-breaking contract so you can always work in some deferments to make that $500 M which will (on paper) even break the $40 per barrier. He might even be able to get it up to 15/$550 or something.

That said ... the point about insurance is legit. Also with Scherzer and Bauer, teams are starting to show some flexibility around super-big money for short-term and maybe even moving away from long-term with deferments. So maybe there is somebody out there who will offer Soto 5/$300.
   39. Adam Starblind Posted: May 19, 2022 at 04:45 PM (#6077522)
I've long thought the Mets should stress a trade-and-extend strategy (like with Johan Santana), since the Yankees are always going to be a more attractive bidder for the same dollars.


You've pushed this line of BS before, but it doesn't matter now -- there won't be any more "for the same dollars." Sorry Stankees.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 19, 2022 at 06:37 PM (#6077539)
Self-immolation isn’t for everyone.
   41. Jack Sommers Posted: May 19, 2022 at 07:12 PM (#6077542)
Why doesn't Trout count? Not that including him would detract from the point.


Miserlou.....thanks, my brain fart...typo, not sure how to classify it. Of course I meant to include Trout there, can't explain why I didn't or what happened in my brain.
   42. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 19, 2022 at 09:37 PM (#6077569)
Honestly. This is so implausible from a team like the Nats that it has to be a not-very-good negotiating tactic, right? Otherwise you might as well just shovel all the good players to the Dodgers and Yankees and not even have a regular season.
   43. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 20, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6077616)
Verdugo and Marcelo Mayer for Soto and Strasburg. The Nats get relieved of their onerous financial demands from Strasburg and they get 85% of Soto back with Verdugo (Verdugo's good right?).
   44. Tony S Posted: May 20, 2022 at 10:03 AM (#6077618)
The Padres should consider trading away Fernando Tatis or risk losing him to free agency in 2035.
   45. The Duke Posted: May 20, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6077632)
Well, the industry talking harass are all now saying this won't happen so rumor dead for now. Crazy exciting if it does happen though.
   46. Darren Posted: May 20, 2022 at 12:07 PM (#6077639)
Just give him 10 years 400M, with 3 mutual options for years 11-12-13 and some kind of buyout structure, but no opt outs.


People were saying stuff like this about Mookie Betts, too. But what if these guys just don't want to sign with you? Maybe Soto just doesn't like DC? Or he likes somewhere else (Boston!) a lot better than DC? Or what if he likes DC well enough, but really, really wants to be a free agent? You don't have to trade him 2.5 years from FA, but if you've determined you probably can't sign him, you have to start thinking about how to proceed.


There's also a lot we don't know about the 10/350 deal he was offered. Was it heavily deferred? Did he counter with 12/425 or 15/600? Or did he say you are wasting your time, I'm going to free agency?


If you're trading Juan Soto, what's the point of having baseball players?


What's the point of having players if you're going to get rid of Griffey and ARod? What's the point of having baseball players if you let Bryce Harper walk? I guess you just try to do your best to build your team after they leave and maybe you win 116 games, maybe you win a championship.

No one is untouchable, really. There are ways to trade Soto successfully. Do the Tigers want to give you Torkelson, Greene, +? Does Seattle do Rodriguez, Marte, +? You then have these players +$35 million a year to spend on other players going forward.

Let's all not rend our garments about the mere possibility that a possible all-time great could get traded. Many of them do.

   47. Walt Davis Posted: May 20, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6077683)
But what if these guys just don't want to sign with you?

Once again you:

1) Make the huge offer long before they become FA; this is when the team's leverage is the greatest. The Nats are at least a year late on this.
2) Increase your offer.

Now sure, maybe Juan Soto is so financially irrational as to turn down as much/more money now than he will receive in FA two years from now and, if so, there's nothing the Nats can do about that. We can probably all agree that if Soto tells the Nats that he'll only sign with them for $800 M then the Nats have no choice but to get what they can.

So it's true, none of us can read Soto's mind. But we do know that $350 M is not a lot in today's market ... he's gonna get $50+ over the next two years so a $300 M extension for Soto?? When Corey Seager (who can't even stay healthy) gets $325? When the very good but not historical Machado gets $300; when Harper gets $330? He's 23 ... you offer him something that takes him through age 36-37 or you offer him something that only takes him through age 28-29 or you offfer him some mix of the two (through age 36 with an opt-out after age 29 or 30).

Increase that offer to $450 (bigger than Trout) for 12-13 years and see what he says.
   48. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: May 20, 2022 at 07:55 PM (#6077718)
What's the point of having players if you're going to get rid of Griffey and ARod? What's the point of having baseball players if you let Bryce Harper walk?


I mean, there are obvious ways in which none of these are actually analogous. The Nats are a rich team in one of the richest, and biggest, markets in the country. That makes the A-Rod comparison inapposite. Griffey was 30 when the M's ditched him, and it actually turned out to be a good move. Harper had been deeply inconsistent and often injured when the Nats let him go. It's just not the same thing at all.
   49. Tony S Posted: May 21, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6077796)
To be fair to the Nats, Bryce Harper pretty much had a foot out the door from the day he got called up. Nobody expected him to stay in Washington when he hit free agency, and he didn't. But the Nats DIDN'T trade him early to "get something for him" -- they got strong production FROM him for six years. And an extra draft pick when he walked away.

It seems like some GMs and pundits regard players like real-estate flippers regard homes -- not something you actually, you know, LIVE in, but simply a vehicle/asset to pass along to someone else once you've puffed up the price enough.

   50. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 21, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6077813)
Pretty sure Harper would have re-signed with the Nationals had they offered the Phillies deal. Instead, the Nationals included so much deferred money that their offer wasn’t really comparable.
   51. bfan Posted: May 22, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6077948)
Anyone with a foot out the door the minute he hits free agency does not strike me as someone who would then sign with Philly. If Harper had signed with the Dodgers or Angels, maybe one can think that he was going back to the west coast, but he moved 110 miles to the northeast in a town equally rich in revolutionary war history.
   52. Darren Posted: May 22, 2022 at 10:21 PM (#6078057)
Once again you:

1) Make the huge offer long before they become FA; this is when the team's leverage is the greatest. The Nats are at least a year late on this.
2) Increase your offer.


3) They still say no.

   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 22, 2022 at 11:08 PM (#6078062)
Anyone with a foot out the door the minute he hits free agency does not strike me as someone who would then sign with Philly. If Harper had signed with the Dodgers or Angels, maybe one can think that he was going back to the west coast, but he moved 110 miles to the northeast in a town equally rich in revolutionary war history.
Harper also made a point of wearing a District of Columbia flag-themed headband while winning the Home Run Derby at Nationals Park during the 2018 All-Star Game festivities, in his last season in DC. Regrettably, the Nationals just didn’t make a competitive offer - it was $300M on paper, but $100M was deferred so the present value was only $244M, well below the Phillies offer.
   54. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 22, 2022 at 11:18 PM (#6078064)
maybe Juan Soto is so financially irrational as to turn down as much/more money now than he will receive in FA two years from now and, if so, there's nothing the Nats can do about that.

There is no way to know what the offers in the FA market two years from now. Boros is constantly in Soto's ear. Whatever the Nats can offer, he says, the FA market will have that plus 20 percent. If the Nats offer $450M, the FA market is at least $500M. You'll only have this kind of opportunity once in your life, you have to maximize it. You're the next Ted Williams, teams will be climbing over each other for you. Inflation is out of control, wait until we hit the market. Etc, etc.
   55. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 23, 2022 at 01:02 AM (#6078076)
Anyone with a foot out the door the minute he hits free agency does not strike me as someone who would then sign with Philly.

How is Philly's public school system doing these days?
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2022 at 01:20 AM (#6078077)
Boros is constantly in Soto's ear. Whatever the Nats can offer, he says, the FA market will have that plus 20 percent.
Boras & the Lerners have agreed on a number of big money deals on Nationals players. The real issue is whether the Lerners are willing to pay top dollar for a player as rare as Soto.

It’s possible, although quite speculative, that Soto would reject all offers, but the Nationals won’t know unless they make their best offer.
   57. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 23, 2022 at 05:51 AM (#6078084)
he moved 110 miles to the northeast in a town equally rich in revolutionary war history.


Pedantic Alert:
Washington DC did not exist during the Revolutionary War.
   58. bfan Posted: May 23, 2022 at 11:06 AM (#6078114)
How is Philly's public school system doing these days?


I am sure this was said in jest. That is not a question on the lips of guys who make $25 million a year.
   59. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 23, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6078239)
Juan Soto trade rumors: Nationals fans may be "motivated" to trade fandoms
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: May 23, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6078243)
he moved 110 miles to the northeast in a town equally rich in revolutionary war history.

my boyhood hometown, current population of 6,700, was not only a landing spot for George Washington (hardly unique) but also where British Major John Andre - the partner of the infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold - was detained and then hung during that war. a small plaque remains at the terminus of tiny "Andre Hill," which isn't even wide enough to accommodate two cars passing each other in opposite directions.

would have been a very manageable commute for Harper if he had signed with the Yankees in particular.
:)

also has I think the second-oldest structure in the U.S., built in 1700.
   61. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 23, 2022 at 11:42 PM (#6078261)

...my boyhood hometown, current population of 6,700, was not only a landing spot for George Washington..


See this is what I mean, Howie. It sounds like you grew up in Philadelphia but "No" that cant be right cause more than 6700 people live there. well unless this was during the Am. Revolution. If you had mentioned: "Old Tappan" which I presume is what you meant then it would be clear. But you could also be referring to Haverstraw (where there is another plaque for Andre), or Tarrytown (sometimes referred to as where Andre was captured) or Sleepy Hollow (also close by) or Armonk (where Andre was also held) or some other place.

Again, I do enjoy reading your comments, but the style is often a bit awkward.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: May 23, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6078262)
thanks, sunday.

I don't think the actual town matters. but since you expressed curiosity, it's Tappan, NY.

Old Tappan, NJ is just to the west - not south, as many would reasonably guess. that's very wealthy Bergen County.

if you head west, within a mile of Andre Hill you will find McMansions popping up all over - none of which are even remotely allowed in historic and more middle-class Tappan.

and yes, it's a bit amusing that Tappan is older than "Old Tappan," and has a much richer Revolutionary War roots that they will not surrender to modernity. The '76 House restaurant - at the site where Andre was detained - is still standing. Fans of the Susan Sarandon movie "Stepmom" might recognize the place from scenes filmed there.
   63. Hank Gillette Posted: May 24, 2022 at 01:32 AM (#6078267)
Soto is not the kind of guy you trade away.
Isn’t that what they said about Mookie Betts?
   64. JJ1986 Posted: May 24, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6078285)
I know the superstars are encouraged to just take the most money, but if I had that kind of money, I would 100% pick the city I wanted to live in. And DC would be way down the list of MLB cities.
   65. Adam Starblind Posted: May 24, 2022 at 01:23 PM (#6078294)
And DC would be way down the list of MLB cities.


Certainly if you were looking for an urban lifestyle, DC doesn't match up well. If you want a mansion in the suburbs, it's an excellent choice -- and being a 1-team player is a very nice aspect of a career. That's how you get the statue outside the ballpark. He won't get that in LA or NY.
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 24, 2022 at 02:07 PM (#6078301)
I know the superstars are encouraged to just take the most money, but if I had that kind of money, I would 100% pick the city I wanted to live in.
Most players don’t live year-round in the city/metro area of their team. Half of the regular season is spent on the road, home off-days are rare, and game days are usually highly-regimented affairs, without much time to enjoy the local amenities, so for many there is little reason to give much weight to the locality, unless there is a pre-existing connection.

Today, it’s much more common for players, especially those making big bucks, to live in tax-friendly, warm-weather states where they can train all year, often near their teams spring training facilities. Taking the highest offer makes it easier to do all that, as well as finding pretty good in-season living arrangements.
   67. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 24, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6078303)
And DC would be way down the list of MLB cities.
Certainly if you were looking for an urban lifestyle, DC doesn't match up well. If you want a mansion in the suburbs, it's an excellent choice . . .
Jeff Bezos did all right in DC. Lots of options for those with plenty of dough, not so much for the more middle class who can’t afford multi-million dollar houses and who are dependent on the public schools.
   68. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 24, 2022 at 03:42 PM (#6078311)
Yes Howie. I always thought old tappan was the main town back in the day. So I did not know that
   69. Zach Posted: May 24, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6078319)
To be fair to the Nats, Bryce Harper pretty much had a foot out the door from the day he got called up. Nobody expected him to stay in Washington when he hit free agency, and he didn't.

Eric Hosmer was the same way in KC. Not rude about it or anything, it was just always clear he had his sights set on the big time, and KC wasn't it.

It became painfully clear when KC had the only offer for months on end and yet somehow the talks never went anywhere.
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2022 at 05:04 PM (#6078326)
I always thought old tappan was the main town back in the day.

George Washington's famous "Crossing the Delaware" moment began just south of Tappan in Closter, NJ, along the Hudson River, in Nov. 1776. British troops and their allies under Cornwallis had taken Fort Washington across the Hudson and crossed by boat to Closter en route to the revolutionaries' encampment in Fort Lee. Someone noticed the early-morning crossing, so by the time the British arrived at the fort, they were long gone and the chase began (I believe to this day there still are tours that take you several miles from Closter Dock at waterside up the Palisades to the site of the fort).

The 'rev troops' headed west, chased by the British all across New Jersey. That crossing a month later was triumphant in the sense of survival, which I suppose is a sort of military victory, isn't it?

While Harper was in Philly, he could have taken the route backwards - or if a Yankee, just start at Fort Washington near Yankee Stadium....

   71. Adam Starblind Posted: May 24, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6078355)
Jeff Bezos did all right in DC. Lots of options for those with plenty of dough, not so much for the more middle class who can’t afford multi-million dollar houses and who are dependent on the public schools.


Don't get me wrong, those big old houses are wonderful. Just not as much urban life as some other MLB cities.
   72. Tony S Posted: May 25, 2022 at 08:54 AM (#6078388)
Eric Hosmer was the same way in KC. Not rude about it or anything, it was just always clear he had his sights set on the big time, and KC wasn't it.


KC dodged a huge bullet there, though.
   73. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 03:56 PM (#6078433)
Is there anything marking the remains of Ft, Lee? It was atop the Palisades yes?
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: May 25, 2022 at 07:07 PM (#6078447)
no shortage of Fort Lee and the near environs
as one might hope, there are tons of historical markers around the NY/NJ border. Fort Lee Historic Park (nee Fort Constitution) might be the best.

when my brother first moved out, he feigned being aghast about having moved to Morristown, NJ - which he had not known was another one of the prominent "George Washington Slept Here" towns in the region.

incidentally, you can do about a 6-mile hike that takes you from atop the Palisades, all the way down to the river, and then all the way back up. surprisingly, it is the middle part that is the most daunting unless you have very strong calves. the long walk parallel to the river is pocked with an unending stream of variously-sized boulders, forcing one to be rather nimble.

I did it for my first - and final - time 7 or 8 years ago.

I'll bet Bryce Harper could do it, though!
and Ichiro, too - if he wanted to.
   75. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 01:46 PM (#6078535)
thanks for the link, Howie.
   76. Zach Posted: May 26, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6078539)
KC dodged a huge bullet there, though.

They totally did. And I really have no problem with it -- it's not like he was a jerk or anything. There are just some guys you can't re-sign, because they already have their sights set elsewhere.
   77. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 26, 2022 at 03:49 PM (#6078550)
If you're absolutely convinced that he's going to go to free agency, and that Boras will only accept the highest offer when that happens, you should trade him even if you want him as part of your long-term plans. Get the prospects now, and then assuming he's still good when he hits FA, make him the highest offer then. If you trade him to the Yankees or whoever and he signs an extension with them, then he probably didn't want to be in Washington long-term anyway.
   78. Tony S Posted: May 26, 2022 at 06:49 PM (#6078568)
With the bloated playoffs, it make less and less sense to trade a good player early because you might lose him later. Only the very worst teams are out of the race in August.

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