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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Juan Soto contract extension dance has begun between Scott Boras and the Nationals

Both discussed Juan Soto and his future in D.C. If Soto doesn’t sign an extension, he will hit free agency after the 2024 season. The clock is ticking.

“Juan Soto wants to win,” Boras said when asked if there was an offer the Nationals could make — right now — that would get the 23-year-old star to sign a long-term extension. “So the first thing that’s going to have to happen is that he knows that he’s working with an ownership that’s going to annually try to compete and win. And then I think once he knows that, then he’ll be ready to sit down and talk whenever they choose to talk.”

Rizzo’s response?

“We’ve made it known that we want Juan to be a long-term National,” Rizzo told The Washington Post at MLB’s general managers’ meetings. “It’s no secret. We’ve talked to the player himself; we talked to Scott before. … As of this point, he and I haven’t sat down and discussed it in depth. But we’ve spoken in generalities and that type of thing, and he knows our thought process on it. It will be something we want to talk to him about — being here for a long, long time.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 10, 2021 at 10:20 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan soto, nationals

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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:30 PM (#6052443)
Dude is unreal at 23. Would he be happy to take 6/250 and go back to market at 29 and see how he does or is he looking for 12/holy cow $?
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2021 at 11:42 PM (#6052444)
On Tuesday, shortly before 3:00 PM, I submitted another WaPo article making the case that the Nationals should offer Juan Soto a $500M contract. That item still hasn’t been posted* here, but it’s worth a read.


*While I certainly appreciate the efforts of RoyalsRetro and others ‘with keys’ who regularly include their own submissions in the Newsblog, the fact that apparently no one is now tasked with green lighting submissions from the rank & file BBTF community is one of the factors that has significantly diminished this site. As previously noted in other threads, many have just given up on the process. Sad.
   3. The Duke Posted: November 11, 2021 at 12:14 AM (#6052450)
2. It’s behind a paywall both at the Post and at Apple news - maybe that’s the reason. Of course this article is too so maybe that’s not the reason:)
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 11, 2021 at 12:58 AM (#6052456)
“Juan Soto wants to win,” Boras said when asked if there was an offer the Nationals could make — right now — that would get the 23-year-old star to sign a long-term extension. “So the first thing that’s going to have to happen is that he knows that he’s working with an ownership that’s going to annually try to compete and win. And then I think once he knows that, then he’ll be ready to sit down and talk whenever they choose to talk.”
Translation: “Juan Soto wants to see the Nationals sign other Scott Boras clients to huge contracts.”
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2021 at 01:10 AM (#6052458)
It’s behind a paywall both at the Post and at Apple news . . .
Perhaps it has changed, but I was under the impression that WaPo allowed non-subscribers 10 free articles a month. In any event, a paywall doesn’t seem to be a barrier to articles from the Athletic, or this other WaPo article. If this had been the only instance of a non-published or delayed submission I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but it’s been noted by quite a few, with no response from the powers that be.
   6. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 11, 2021 at 09:07 AM (#6052478)
Dude is unreal at 23. Would he be happy to take 6/250 and go back to market at 29 and see how he does or is he looking for 12/holy cow $?


I think Trout laid the blueprint for this pretty well. Sign the extension now, let the team buyout a year or two of free agency but still hit the market well before you turn 30. In Soto's case go 5/180 or something. That buys out 2 years of free agency, gives him and everyone he cares about lifelong security and he still hits the market before his age 28 season when he can go for the super crazy money.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: November 11, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6052482)
I think it has more to do with no one minding the store than any kind of issue with paywalls.

   8. The Original SJ Posted: November 11, 2021 at 10:01 AM (#6052489)
Give the man all the money. Thank you.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 11, 2021 at 10:05 AM (#6052490)

I think it has more to do with no one minding the store than any kind of issue with paywalls.


Yea, I have access to publish my own links, but I can't see what anyone else submits.
   10. Adam Starblind Posted: November 11, 2021 at 10:22 AM (#6052491)
The main factor that has severely diminished the site is that it's antiquated. Broken record here, but I've wanted to buy it, take on a partner with web-design expertise who would contribute their labors to the partnership, and revamp it with the Hall of Merit as the brand. The site would of course have discussion threads no less engaging (I mean it) than we do now. We could even keep the ape.

Unfortunately, I have no reason to think Furtado would sell.
   11. Darren Posted: November 11, 2021 at 10:34 AM (#6052492)
Dude is unreal at 23. Would he be happy to take 6/250 and go back to market at 29 and see how he does or is he looking for 12/holy cow $?


6/250? Figure he gets $65 mil for the next 3 of arb, that's 3/185 for his next 3 years. Steep.

I'm guessing it's more likely he gets a 10-12 year deal for $300 million+, with an opt out after 5.

Also, Soto is great but I don't see the argument for him breaking contract records at this point. He's among the game's best players, but not head and shoulders above the rest. (If he keeps up what he did in late in 2021, on the other hand, then he'll be in a class by himself.)
   12. The Duke Posted: November 11, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6052494)
What would his arb estimates be ? He’s making 15 in 2022. So maybe 25 and then 35. Isn’t that plenty of financial security? Why give up a precious free agent year (or two )? At 26, he can do a Harper and get a 12 year deal at 35-40 -45 a year plus the 70-75 he has earned through age 25. And he might actually be able to get some interesting stuff like % of the gate or an ownership stake. I’d wait.

I guess one risk he has is if the CBA imposes a “everyone’s a free agent at 29” and no one is grandfathered
   13. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 11, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6052497)
Unfortunately, I have no reason to think Furtado would sell.


Sell? Primer makes money? I was under the impression that Jim runs the site as a probably-money-losing hobby.

As for Soto, one question is how long a team is willing to sign a player for. If he hits FA at 26, would someone give him a 15 year deal? I think probably not. If not, then if he signs at 26 he's looking at FA again at 36. And that's going to be rough. Of course he'll get more AAV on a long-term deal signed at 26 than at 29, but teams seem to be unwilling to sign great players for what standard WAR/$ figures indicate. Trout was projecting 9 WAR/year when he signed, and wins were going for $8m on the free agent market, but he didn't get $72m/year. If they're not going to pay you what you're worth per-year, maybe the thing to do is for Soto to take the buyout through 29, and then look for 10/$400 or so. (Assuming that his production continues through his late 20s.)
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: November 11, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6052502)
I don’t think he runs BBTF for a business at all, as you say. Thats probably why I said I have no reason to think he would sell it.
   15. Adam Starblind Posted: November 11, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6052504)
As for Soto, as extraordinary a hitter as he is, he’s still “only” a 5-7 win player because of his defense. More Manny than Trout or A-Rod.

Edit: Ok, Manny is selling him short. You get the idea.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6052518)
The gist of the $500M offer suggested in the article linked in #2:
So give Soto a 2022 salary of $12.5 million, breaking Bellinger’s record. Then in the following two seasons — the two years before Soto would hit free agency — assign him salaries that would break the arbitration-eligible records held by Betts of $20 million and $27 million: $22.5 million in 2023 and $30 million in 2024. That essentially buys out Soto’s three arbitration seasons for $65 million. Now, for free agency.

Mike Trout’s 12-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels pays him more than $35.5 million annually — and began when he was 27. The free agent portion of Soto’s contract would begin in 2025 — when he’s 26. Is it reasonable to pay him an average of $36.25 million for the following dozen years? Abso-freakin’-lutely.
Not my money, and maybe the opening bid is lower, but Soto may be worth it. Take a look at the inner-circle company he keeps on the Age-22 Leaderboard before saying no.
   17. Ron J Posted: November 11, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6052534)
#14 I recall talking with Jim years ago. He said the IRS didn't consider BBTF a business. No idea if that's still true and no idea when their stance changed if it did.
   18. Darren Posted: November 11, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6052542)
That is a pretty poor argument for $500 million. You take a 10-year extension for a much better player, add in 2 years that were already committed, and push the whole thing out 3 additional years. No, not-so-fricking-lutely.

Not even mentioned: the difference is investing in athletic types like Trout vs. Hitting machines like Soto.
   19. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: November 11, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6052546)
The merging of the separate conversations on this thread had me, at one point, thinking that Primer would sell for $500M.
   20. The Duke Posted: November 11, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6052548)
Sbnation tends to have a lot of sites like this. What do they pay, if anything, to hook people up to it? Do they buy them and then own them or just charge a franchise fee?
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 11, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6052551)
SB Nation owns all their sites, they purchased the blogs at some point.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6052564)
I hadn't realized that Soto was already super-2 in 2021 -- $8.5 M. So he'll be at least $15 for 2022 given what he just did (and probably about to win MVP). Barring injury, figure that puts him at $22 and $30 at least for the last two years. So probably at $75 M career earnings without any long-term commitment. It's going to be hard to buy him out of an opportunity to hit the open market.

And recent history is that elite players around that age (EDIT: 26 in Soto's case, as an FA) get 12 years -- Trout (essentially), Mookie, Harper, Stanton, Tatis. Lindor only got 10 years but it takes him through age 37 so the equivalent of 12 for Soto after he turns FA. Of course those 12 years are generally just a way to defer some payments (and Mookie's is massively deferred beyond that) and that's where Soto being only(!) a 5-7 WAR player kicks in. Figure he'd give you 35-40 WAR for 26-32 then maybe 10-15 for 33-37 ... call it 50 WAR for whatever the 2025 equivalent of about 12/$400 will be.

I doubt Boras will even bother to respond if the Nats don't start with an offer around 15/$425. Boras' minimum goal is to top Trout's total of $427. Boras is also generally happy to defer to get the headline number higher -- he'd love to get to $500 even if it means spreading it out over 25-30 years.

the difference is investing in athletic types like Trout vs. Hitting machines like Soto.

That would be the athletic Mike Trout who has played in just 2/3 of his team's games over the last 5 seasons? Note also the athletic Lindor just had a lousy season while missing 35 games; Mookie had an OK season while missing 40 games; Tatis hasn't been healthy so far. Over those 5 years, the un-athletic (but no slob) Joey Votto played in 89% of his team's games; and while they are no longer good, Pujols and Cabrera at least show up nearly every day; even Cano anytime he's allowed to play.

In a sport in which Cesar Cedeno, Eric Davis, Ken Griffey, Carl Crawford and heaps of the most athletic players can't stay healthy and, somehow, David Ortiz and Willie Stargell and Nelson Cruz last forever, we shouldn't be so free about projecting who's going to last and who isn't. (There are of course plenty of counter-examples on both sides.) The single most important question is "can you hit?" Given Soto has hit at a near-historic level for his ages, our answer to that question is "good golly yes he can." He might get hurt but our best guess is that he will still be able to hit awfully darn well at 35, albeit more likely in 500-550 PA than 600-650.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2021 at 04:59 PM (#6052570)
When you consider Soto being younger than Trout when hitting free agency, as well as the 3 years of inflation since Trout’s deal (with more apparently to come), I don’t think it’s beyond question that Soto could get a slightly higher average annual value in a 12 year deal. However, given the Nationals’ fondness for deferred money, that may be difficult, although as Walt suggests, deferrals could make a historic number a bit easier to swallow.
   24. base ball chick Posted: November 11, 2021 at 05:12 PM (#6052572)
14. Adam Starblind Posted: November 11, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6052502)

I don’t think he runs BBTF for a business at all, as you say. Thats probably why I said I have no reason to think he would sell it.


- i'm 99.9999% sure that The Jim does not make $$$ offn Primer. i think it is kindness of his heart he keeps this running. not being sarcastic. The site is not anything like what it used to be or what him and sean had originally wanted to do. And i haven't seen jim around in a LONG time

you might could just ask him if he's be willing to sell the site. I'm not positive but i'm pretty sure he doesn't want no gambling or pr0n type ads.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6052575)
Roughly speaking, Soto's raw numbers are a match for Thome's raw numbers. Thome played in a higher-scoring era and he also didn't win a full-time job until 24 so, if we had to rank them, we'd put Soto clearly ahead.

For ages 26-32, Thome put up 36 WAR. For ages 33-37, which included his significan injury year, he managed 14 WAR. He wasn't done yet with one more good year in him and some part-time play for 7 WAR over 38-41. That's an unathletic slugger. Votto's career numbers aren't much worse than Soto's and, like Thome, he didn't win a job until 24. He had 40 WAR 26-32 and 16 from 33-37. FWIW (unusual career shape and a long time ago), Stargell put up 28 + 18.

We could take the negative case of Dick Allen (cf Stargell) at 30 + 0 (note Allen did put up 19 WAR from 23-25 so a 15-year buyout after his age 22 season even at $500 M still wouldn't have been a disaster). McGwire was quite fragile -- 29 + 22 (+11 for 23-25).

Those guys aren't the upside. The upside is Frank Robinson -- great young hitter, mediocre corner OF -- 43 + 22 WAR (+20 for 23-25).

Biggest downsides among players one might remotely consider to be in Soto's neighborhood? Cedeno (18 WAR 26+, 34 WAR 23+), Griffey (43 WAR 26+, 62 WAR 23+), Stanton (19 WAR 26-31, 32 WAR 23+), Thomas (46 WAR 26-37, 66 WAR 23-37).

If you signed them at age 26 to the equivalent of a 12/$400 contract:

Disasters: Cedeno (never hit like Soto) and Stanton
Very bad: Allen
40-50 WAR: Vlad (40 WAR 26-37), Griffey, Thomas, Stargell, Thome, Miggy (48 WAR 26-37)
50-60 WAR: McGwire, Votto
OMG: Robinson, Aaron, Pujols

Some other promising comps (some clearly not in Soto's class): Yaz 56 oWAR (oWAR not WAR because he was an excellent fielder), Bagwell 62 oWAR, Palmeiro 53 oWAR, Manny 65 oWAR/56 WAR, Billy Williams 52 WAR, Reggie 50, Giambi 49, McCovey 48, Killebrew 48, T Perez 48 (surprised me), Sheff 48, Murray 47 (42 oWAR), Cash 45, Berkman 43, Ortiz 43, Delgado 42, Foster 41

Less promising comps (most not in Soto's class): Murphy 39, McGriff 36, Bonds Sr 37, Tex 36, the athletic Mantle 36, Mathews 36, W Clark 36, J Clark 33, F Howard 32, Rice 30, Strawberry 22 -- that seems to be about as bad as it gets for Soto types. (well, Conigliaro)

Freeman is at 28 with a good chance at reaching at least 40; JDM is at 28 with a so-so chance of reaching 40; Judge is at 19 with 8 years to go.

Obviously 40 WAR for $400 M is not ideal but it's also not a big deal. It should be obvious to everybody by now that what a player does in his mid-late 30s doesn't really matter a lot in deals like this. You're signing a player for what they do through ages 32-33 (at a bargain salary in those years) then what they do on the back-end of the contract just determines whether you paid (in today $s) $10 M or $8 M or $7 M per WAR. Those later years are just the icing (or lack of) on the cake, the difference between the guy going in first ballot with over 90% or first ballot with about 80% or debuting with 40-50%.

And if you want to avoid those later years, Boras is probably fine with that. Just offer Soto 7/$320 for ages 26-32 and Boras will listen -- he'll try to get you up to 7/$350 of course but be strong and you can probably hold the line at 7/$336. Every other GM will hate you, the writers will go nuts and lord only knows what that will do to your lux tax position but that's the price you pay for hating the concept of deferred payments.
   26. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 11, 2021 at 05:53 PM (#6052578)
Roughly speaking, Soto's raw numbers are a match for Thome's raw numbers.


Wait, what? Soto's career slash numbers are .301/.432/.550, Thome's were .276/.402/.554. When Thome was the age Soto is now, his career numbers were .244/.330/.390. Thome had more power, Soto walks more. Thome struck out a lot more, leading the league three times. They're both excellent hitters who walk a bunch, but aside from that, they're not all that similar.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6052597)
BB-Ref’s 5 most similar players to Juan Soto through their age-22 seasons:

Mike Trout (956.3)
Frank Robinson (955.8) *
Bryce Harper (944.3)
Miguel Cabrera (943.8)
Mickey Mantle (927.9) *
Tony Conigliaro (921.1)
Henry Aaron (918.7) *
Orlando Cepeda (911.5) *
Giancarlo Stanton (909.4)
Ken Griffey Jr. (908.6) *

I’d pay a lot for those post-22 careers (with the unfortunate exception of Conigliaro).
   28. McCoy Posted: November 11, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#6052601)
Furtado had dreams once of turning this site into a huge baseball media site. Obviously that didn't work out. At all. He's since given up, which anyone can see based on this site's look and the things the software allows you to do.
   29. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 11, 2021 at 09:55 PM (#6052615)
Soto gives me very strong Miguel Cabrera vibes, but until I checked (just now) I didn't realize just how much better of a hitter Soto is (at least through age 22).

As for Primer - we got a shoutout in Moneyball. There's that at least. And I still like chatting with you fine individuals; baseball discussion elsewhere on the internet tends to have the flavor of guys at a bar and/or sports radio. Much better here.
   30. bookbook Posted: November 12, 2021 at 12:29 AM (#6052626)
Wasn't Mike Trout underpaid on his longterm deal, by most analysis?

Soto may only be Frank Robinson of Miguel Cabrera, not Willie Mays, but... That's worth a lot of money.
   31. Darren Posted: November 12, 2021 at 09:55 AM (#6052648)
Those are some interesting examples in Walt's post (lots of em!), but I thought it had been established that, in general, athletic/speed types tend to age better. Has that been debunked?
I doubt Boras will even bother to respond if the Nats don't start with an offer around 15/$425. Boras' minimum goal is to top Trout's total of $427. Boras is also generally happy to defer to get the headline number higher -- he'd love to get to $500 even if it means spreading it out over 25-30 years.


Really? This is really Soto's decision, right? $300+ million guaranteed, with an opt-out, might look really good to him. It would put his contract in line with the best players in the game and probably be enough for him to retire somewhat comfortably after baseball (maybe take a part time gig as a greeter at Walmart to make ends meet).
   32. Darren Posted: November 12, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6052653)
We could take the negative case of Dick Allen (cf Stargell) at 30 + 0 (note Allen did put up 19 WAR from 23-25 so a 15-year buyout after his age 22 season even at $500 M still wouldn't have been a disaster).

But they already have Soto for ages 23 to 25, even without the $500 million contract.
   33. Darren Posted: November 12, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#6052656)
Roughly speaking, Soto's raw numbers are a match for Thome's raw numbers. Thome played in a higher-scoring era and he also didn't win a full-time job until 24 so, if we had to rank them, we'd put Soto clearly ahead.


I think I see what you're getting at here, but can you clarify: are you comparing age 22 Soto to age 24 Thome?

Thome was such a dominant hitter but for some reason (probably his late start and lack of defensive value?), I never thought of him as a Hall of Famer until he managed to stay around well past 500 HR. But that was just wrong. Through age 35, Thome had 472 HR, 1,302 RBIs, a 150 OPS+ and 60.3 WAR. Even at that point he was already a legit HOFer.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6052682)
$300+ million guaranteed, with an opt-out, might look really good to him.
Sure, that’s a lot of money, but if fair market value is $400M, $500M, or something in between, $300M doesn’t get him signed.
   35. Darren Posted: November 12, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6052741)
I think fair market is the question.
   36. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: November 13, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6052830)
*While I certainly appreciate the efforts of RoyalsRetro and others ‘with keys’ who regularly include their own submissions in the Newsblog, the fact that apparently no one is now tasked with green lighting submissions from the rank & file BBTF community is one of the factors that has significantly diminished this site. As previously noted in other threads, many have just given up on the process. Sad.

Anyone can make a submission go live, keys or not. Submit something while making note of the title you give the thread -- say, "Keys Are Not Required" -- and then just type in the proper thread URL ("/newsstand/discussion/keys_are_not_required") to get the live page. Make the first post, and it jumps to Hot Topics.

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