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Monday, July 18, 2022

What Scott Boras is demanding in any new Juan Soto deal

Boras also has invoked Alex Rodriguez as the last superstar due to be a free agent at age 25/26, and how as a free agent A-Rod received 40 percent more than the highest previous salary, which at the time was $25.2 million a season to top Kevin Brown’s previous high of $15 million. (Brown, like Scherzer, was an older star pitcher, but fairly, Brown wasn’t quite the pitcher Scherzer is.)

A-Rod set the record at $252 million which at the time was double the value of the U.S. sports record deal of $126 million for Kevin Garnett. It’s clear Boras sees Soto in that category. Remember the original estimated ask of $500 million from a year ago. That may wind up being conservative as an ask.

jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:16 AM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: juan soto, scott boras

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   1. bookbook Posted: July 18, 2022 at 01:48 PM (#6087197)
Soto is incredible. He’s not A-Rod.
   2. Darren Posted: July 18, 2022 at 02:33 PM (#6087204)
ARod's contract was dumped after three years with the Rangers subsidizing a big chunk of it.
   3. KronicFatigue Posted: July 18, 2022 at 02:59 PM (#6087209)
That's because the wrong team signed him. If the 99 Yankees don't win the WS, they could have been all in on Arod. They probably should have been, regardless, with an older OF and 3rd (Brosius). Ideally, they move Jeter off of SS and into CF, with Bernie moving to LF. Or, more likely, put Arod at 3rd or RF, with the latter moving Paul Oneal to DH.

After 1999, Rey Ordonez only played 400ish career games. Plugging Arod into the 2000 Mets with Rey as a super sub utility infielder would have made that WS team stunning.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 18, 2022 at 03:54 PM (#6087220)
Something in the ballpark of the Nationals offer, without the gimmicky back-loading, would be a fair deal, IMHO. Offer $450M for 13 years starting in 2025, after Soto gets ~ $50M in his last 2 years of arbitration, then ‘reluctantly’ push the start to next season to clinch the deal. Win-Win.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: July 18, 2022 at 04:16 PM (#6087228)
Also ARod's deal "had to be" dumped because Hicks was busy going bankrupt (slowly then suddenly). And I agree Soto's not ARod. He's also not Trout, I'm not sure he's Mookie, he might not be as valuable as a healthy Tatis, give Wander a couple more years and let's see where he is.

Boras is just doing his job pumping his client but the fact that the has to reach back to ARod tells us something about the reality of salary inflation over the last 20+ years (ARod's contract is still #12 in total value) and the plethora of buyouts. Trout could have been FA after age 25 but took a deal. Harper and Machado were FA after 25. Correa (when healthy, as close as we've seen to ARod) was 26; Stanton, Franco and Acuna would have been 26. I'm not sure Boras wants to be reminded of Bonds's rather mediocre FA outcomes.

Put that together and it tells us the main currency in signing/extending a young superstar over the last 20 years has been to give them years and security, not generally AAV. Harper reportedly turned down something like 4/$150 from the Dodgers. Among those examples, Trout whose first extension was fairly short and Correa (who knows what happened there?) went more the AAV route. So sure, Boras might well be able to get something like 6/$270 for Soto who, if that goes reasonably well, could probably add another 5/$180 or more to that and he'll end up better off ... while taking a lot more risk. If Soto wants 15 years, he's gonna have to take a non-record AAV; if he wants a record AAV (why?) he'll have to take a shorter deal.

My memory also differs on some of those memories, although my memories shouldn't be trusted. I recall Manny getting 8/$160 that same offseason (so $20 AAV ... Cots confirms) and that Sosa clocked in at $18 AAV (apparently that was the following offseason and just a 4-year deal). Checking Cot's Jeter got a 10/$190 extension that same offseason.

So in terms of AAV it was 25% better than Manny's; in terms of total value, a bit over 30% more than Jeter. 30% more than Trout's total would be about $550 M ... Trout's is just 12 years though. Perhaps more realistically ... Mookie is at 12/$365; add 25% for a 15-year contract and we're around $450 (maybe the Nats' thinking); add another 20-25% for Boras' ego and we're around 15/$550. I think I've found Boras's magic number.

EDIT: Regarding the first paragraph, it's also possible that Soto is Ted Williams or Bonds without the defense. He'll hit (well, walk :-); it's a matter of whether he'll ever do much but DH and how well he'll age ... Frank Thomas 64 WAR post-23.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 18, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6087232)
BTW, Soto's been on fire lately - .400/.561/.767 over his last 20 games.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: July 18, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6087245)
So keeping him dangling in contract uncertainty improves production! :-)
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2022 at 06:55 PM (#6087247)
if he wants a record AAV (why?)

because that more neatly fits the athlete's ego to be "the highest paid guy now" over "the highest paid guy over a very long period of time."
   9. Walt Davis Posted: July 18, 2022 at 09:44 PM (#6087279)
What real-world baseball examples are you basing that on Howie? Bauer? Not exactly representative of the standard athlete thankfully.

In the real world, we have seen player after player after player at almost any stage of their career take years over AAV. Of course in the case of ARod I, he had the luxury of both -- plus an opt-out plus a clause that kept him among the highest-paid.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 18, 2022 at 10:13 PM (#6087289)
Correa (who knows what happened there?)


A lot of games missed in 17, 18, 19 plus yo-yo batting stats (OPS 155, 99, 137,93 for 2017-20)? Plus the next two years are player options so a full year with a good line he ought to get a better contract.
   11. baxter Posted: July 18, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6087293)
10 Yes, "when healthy" is pretty big qualifier for Correa compared to ARod. The latter hits like Mantle; ARod misses some time each year through age 25 (except age 22 season); but ages 25-31 in the lineup nearly every day (and producing quite a bit).
   12. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:51 PM (#6087309)
ARod didn't hit like Mantle. Mantle has 32 points of OPS+ on him. He's a lot closer to Correa, his lead over Correa is only 12 points. What made ARod special is that he hit like that and played a good shortstop, and ran the bases well.

As a batter, ARod was good, but not great. He's 82nd all-time in OPS+, tied with Duke Snider, Vlad Guerrero, Larry Doby, and Gary Sheffield (among others). Plenty good, but Mantle is 9th.
   13. John Northey Posted: July 19, 2022 at 12:32 AM (#6087311)
I think people forget just how great A-Rod was at the time - up at 18, MVP candidate at 20 (9.4 WAR), his last year in Seattle he was a 10.4 WAR guy at age 24. 3 years in Texas, all 8+ WAR years. Lifetime 117.6 WAR, over 22 seasons, or 5.3 per year. For comparison Francisco Lindor has 2 seasons better than A-Rod's average. Trea Turner has yet to have a 5 WAR season, Xander Bogaerts has 1 over 5. A-Rod AVERAGED over 5 a year (even counting his age 18/19 seasons (total of 65 games) and his negative final season. That is insane. Yeah, some guys were better in history but you are limited to very very few who did that.
   14. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2022 at 07:47 AM (#6087327)
ARod's contract got "dumped" because his contract was the only one that had value on that roster. Hicks signed some truly bad contracts around that time. ARod's was not one of them.

Also a good chunk of the money the Rangers owed was on the back part after the opt out clause. Obviously a risk to assume it but if healthy ARod is obviously opting out.
   15. John Reynard Posted: July 19, 2022 at 04:52 PM (#6087412)
The thing with Soto is simple. Offensive WAR is fairly accurate. Defensive WAR is fairly uncertain. Soto is young-as-hell. MLB makes massive profits and being a repeat winner has a ton of value. Soto's potential value to LAD, NYY, NYM, and perhaps even BOS, PHI, LAA, CHC, CHW exceeds $500M by quite a bit. If the Phillies had a better farm system, I'd think they'd go get him and move Rhys Hoskins somewhere. I mean, minus WAS being in same division they probably have the pieces to get him with Painter, Abel, O'Hoppe, Stott, and toss in a few other guys who are decent but not critically urgent. But, I don't see Philly doing that. LAD on the other hand could easily pick him up (well easy is relative, it would be a painful price in prospects), send Lux in the package, and simply put Chris Taylor at mostly 2B when he's back from the broken foot. If Soto is moved, I expect it'll be to a big market team. He's not maximizing a team's utility/revenue being in WAS where the TV situation is so f'ed up. If BAL and WAS weren't both in such a weird ownership situation, I could actually see Soto traded to BAL for a decent prospect return and a forever fixing of the TV revenue situation. No chance it happens in the current situation.

Soto in my opinion is the most likely active player to have a huge amount of offensive WAR at the end of their career (Bonds without the speed and defense basically). Of course you pay for that in a big market. If he's healthier than Stanton was for NYY you win big.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: July 19, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6087425)
A lot of games missed in 17, 18, 19 plus yo-yo batting stats (OPS 155, 99, 137,93 for 2017-20)? Plus the next two years are player options so a full year with a good line he ought to get a better contract.

Sure but all of those things were true for Seager too and he got 10/$320. Those things were true for Harper a few years ago and he got his 13-year deal. (Harper clearly much less athletic than Correa.) So the question is did a team approach Correa with a Seager deal and he declined (which might have been a silly risk to take) or did nobody offer more than, say, 5/$150 in which case a $35 M reset makes sense (but the lack of a better offer doesn't). If Correa had signed a Bauer-like 40/40/25 deal with options then his deal would have made a lot more sense in any number of scenarios; the deal he signed leaves me scratching my head as to what happened; I also don't understand why nobody offered him that better short-term deal.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: July 19, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6087426)
It's fine and dandy to speculate that Soto's worth to a big market team is well in excess of $500 M ... might be correct, might not, we really don't know all we can do is guesstimate. What we can do is say that if Soto's worth $500 M to the Dodgers then Mookie was worth $500 M to the Dodgers ... and got nothing close to that; that Trout was worth much more than $500 M to the Angels and got a good bit less than $500 M; who knows how much Judge is worth to the Yanks but the Yanks haven't been in any hurry to get him tied up long-term. Of course I'll grant that if Corey Seager is worth $320 M to the Rangers then Soto is probably worth $600 M.

Somebody's gonna bust the $500 M barrier soon so it might as well be Soto. But no team wants to be first.

Y'know, the Dodgers for all their vast spending, have only done one of these monster-long deals and that was Mookie. They didn't seem to have that much concern about Seager walking, don't seem fazed at all that Trea Turner is FA at year's end (hello Mr Correa), and it turned out wisely avoided a monster buyout of Bellinger. They have only three players under contract past 2023 -- Betts, Freeman, Chris Taylor -- and just $90 M in guaranteed salary for next year. The Yanks have just 4 players signed past 2023 -- Cole, Stanton, LeMahieu and (of all people) Hicks; just $118 M committed next year, $100 the year after.

For both the Yanks and Dodgers a lot of that salary space will get eaten up by arb awards but they simply aren't the teams offering huge buyouts to young stars. I have no doubt both would make an exception in Soto's case but it's far from clear that they are making decisions based on "gee, this guy will be worth $500 M, let's give him 13 years." The Dodgers, especially on the pitching side, have been following a strategy of (over?)-paying for high-quality, shorter-term guys ... Bauer most obviously but even back in the Rich Hill, etc. years. They're much more a la carte than all-you-can-eat.
   18. baxter Posted: July 19, 2022 at 10:53 PM (#6087449)
12. Apples/oranges; look at the batting comps. Who is most similar (still not truly similar given under 900) to Arod at 25/26? The Mick. Obviously, raw numbers and Mick's #'s era adjusted are better b/c of hitting environment. Still, raw numbers, ARod's in the area.
Who's Arod's top sim? Mays Again, playing in 50's in Polo Grounds 60's at Candlestick adjust Mays is better, but again, Arod is in the area.

The Duke, yeah he had comparable raw #'s to Mays in the 50's (except adjust for Ebbets vs. Polo Grounds) Mays is ahead; then Snider tailed off/injured and out while Mays was even better in his 30's than in his 20's.

Sheffield (long career that he had), Vlad, Doby and Duke each had much shorter careers than Arod. What would be their rates over 12K plate appearances (or can we project Matt Carpenter to 12K plate appearances)? They couldn't get there. You take half of Arod's career and that is a HOF SS

13 on the money like Arod or not

Turner, Correa, Seager none is close to him, period. May they all be healthy and have long careers. I will take the under on each one ending up w/300 hrs (each as an individual bet). Sure, one might do it. Does anyone think 2 of the 3 will? May they get all the dough they could ever dream of. None of them is close to Arod; less than 20 games missed from ages 25-31. How close do you think those 3 will get. Heck, Seager and Correa combined might not get there (although part of that is 2020)

There is ample proof of Arod's ability to play SS. What would his WAR have been as a SS (instead of 3b)

Who's Correa's top comp right now? Troy Tulowitzki; sounds pretty good to me, a good hit good field injury prone SS.

ARod matched up with the sluggers

Who's Mantle's #1 comp? Eddie Matthews; always want to mention him, he's the Rodney Dangerfield of all time greats.

And Mantle, I dig him, but I never was a Yankee fan, so I never got sick of him.
   19. bookbook Posted: July 20, 2022 at 12:28 AM (#6087457)
I’d take the bet on Seager reaching 300 home runs. Especially in Texas, where Seagers love to rake.
   20. bookbook Posted: July 20, 2022 at 12:39 AM (#6087458)
I always thought the best comparison of A-Rod was Mike Schmidt. A-Rod should have been a SS for more of his career, but if he’d come up after Cal Ripken, Schmidt might have been a shortstop, too. He did sub there when The Phillies needed him to.

A-Rod had a longer career and about ten more WAR, but Schmidt had a higher OPS+ (148 to 140) and won 10 gold gloves at 3b (and deserved some of them!)

Both are certainly inner circle guys. Soto, without defense, basically has to be Ted Williams to match their careers. He’s got a chance, but many bat-first superstars haven’t aged as well as the dynamic defensive stars who are also complete offensive studs.
   21. jmurph Posted: July 20, 2022 at 06:59 AM (#6087469)
What we can do is say that if Soto's worth $500 M to the Dodgers then Mookie was worth $500 M to the Dodgers ... and got nothing close to that;

If I'm reading Spotrac correctly, Mookie signed that extension at 27 and it kicked in at 28 (in the peak of Covid revenue uncertainty, as I recall).

Soto is only 23. I'm not saying the man deserves or will get 500, but I am sure he "deserves" a higher AAV than Betts got.
   22. McCoy Posted: July 20, 2022 at 09:17 PM (#6087542)
Schmidt didn't have the knees.
   23. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 21, 2022 at 01:23 AM (#6087560)
Miguel Cabrera was traded from Miami to Detroit after his age-24 season; you'd have to imagine the return for Soto would be similar to what the Marlins got.
   24. Ron J Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:51 AM (#6087567)
#23 That also got them out from a contract that they already regretted (Willis). So they got 5 lottery tickets for one amazing player and one contract they seriously wanted out of. Not sure that tells us much unless there's a contract Washington wants to get out of.
   25. Adam Starblind Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:32 AM (#6087568)
24 - Corbin and Strasberg
   26. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:35 AM (#6087569)
Re: 23, to pick just one, Corbin's contract would be obvious ransom for Soto's new team. I don't know that any team bites on Strasburg at this late date.
   27. Ron J Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6087595)
25/26 Yeah, good examples. If they can unload either contact they'd get a similar haul. Some lottery tickets.

Somehow I had lost track of Strasburg (for some reason I still had the 2019 version in mind) and didn't realize just how much Corbin is due to make.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6087596)
Strasburg has a full no trade clause in his contract. Sure, he might be induced to waive it, but it would probably cost. Along with cost & injury concerns, that makes his inclusion unlikely.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:44 AM (#6087597)
Strasburg has a full no trade clause in his contract. Sure, he might be induced to waive it, but it would probably cost. Along with cost & injury concerns, that makes his inclusion unlikely.

Strasburg has a real chance to be the worst FA contract ever. So far he's been paid $35M for three seasons (one of them prorated) and delivered zero value, and he has four more left and is back on the 60-day DL. The Nats could very well end up paying ~$225M for absolutely nothing.
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:49 AM (#6087600)
Strasburg has a real chance to be the worst FA contract ever. So far he's been paid $35M for three seasons (one of them prorated) and delivered zero value, and he has four more left and is back on the 60-day DL. The Nats could very well end up paying ~$225M for absolutely nothing.
True. There have been some free agents who were worse than nothing on the field, but I don't think any of them were even near $200m.
   31. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:58 AM (#6087602)
Strasburg has a full no trade clause in his contract. Sure, he might be induced to waive it, but it would probably cost.

Strasburg has a real chance to be the worst FA contract ever. So far he's been paid $35M for three seasons (one of them prorated) and delivered zero value, and he has four more left and is back on the 60-day DL. The Nats could very well end up paying ~$225M for absolutely nothing.
That being the case, I can't even fathom the amount of hubris it would take for him to demand even more money to waive his no-trade. Which is his right, yada yada yada, but...man. And of course there's absolutely zero doubt that Boras would indeed demand more.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: July 21, 2022 at 12:03 PM (#6087603)
I don't know. Teams shouldn't be able to change a contract because a player is hurt. Is he also "demanding" that they pay him the rest of his contract for this year and beyond?
   33. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6087608)
NTC basically mean the player gets a say in where he goes. Sure if he gets traded to like the Pirates or Miami he might say the only way that's happening is if you give me tons more money but otherwise he just wants to be able to decide where he goes.
   34. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 21, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6087628)
So far he's been paid $35M for three seasons (one of them prorated) and delivered zero value,


Closest comp Carl Pavano's NYY stint, corrected for inflation but cumulative amount of salary, not p.a. Thank god that wasn't longer.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6087642)
Closest comp Carl Pavano's NYY stint, corrected for inflation but cumulative amount of salary, not p.a. Thank god that wasn't longer.

Yeah, but he got $38M TOTAL for four years. Strasburg is getting almost as much per season.
   36. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:12 PM (#6087654)
NTC basically mean the player gets a say in where he goes. Sure if he gets traded to like the Pirates or Miami he might say the only way that's happening is if you give me tons more money but otherwise he just wants to be able to decide where he goes.


And that almost certainly cost him some money. Why shouldn't get some of that back? Do teams throw money at pre-arb phenoms who suffer career ending injuries? See Mark Prior for example.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:24 PM (#6087658)
And that almost certainly cost him some money. Why shouldn't get some of that back? Do teams throw money at pre-arb phenoms who suffer career ending injuries? See Mark Prior for example.
He's not asking to be traded. If the team wants to override the NTC and the player doesn't, why would he have to pay to get something he doesn't want?
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:31 PM (#6087661)
He's not asking to be traded. If the team wants to override the NTC and the player doesn't, why would he have to pay to get something he doesn't want?


He's saying the NTC cost him money when he signed the contract. Now, if he agrees to waive it for the team's benefit, he'll get some of it back.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: July 21, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6087664)
He's saying the NTC cost him money when he signed the contract. Now, if he agrees to waive it for the team's benefit, he'll get some of it back.
Thanks. I incorrectly guessed that the missing word(s) in the second sentence was "the team."
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:28 PM (#6087674)
And that almost certainly cost him some money. Why shouldn't get some of that back?
Because he's provided absolutely zero production for a sh*tton of money. I know he has the right to make that demand. But it's not a good look, as they say.
   41. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:38 PM (#6087677)
So? They're not semi-guaranteed contracts.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 21, 2022 at 06:07 PM (#6087685)
Yes, I've said multiple times that he has the right. But you really think "Hey, you've paid me about $125 million thus far over 3.5 years, and I've given you nothing in return. But I'm also going to extract every penny I can if you want to trade me" doesn't take some gall? You, personally, might not care, but it's still a pretty hubristic position to take.
   43. Adam Starblind Posted: July 21, 2022 at 06:12 PM (#6087688)
Would you object if Strasburg just refused to be traded? Because that may be even worse for the team than asking for a few extra mil to go quietly.
   44. Sleepy wants to be a Special Master Posted: July 21, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6087699)
Strasburg signed his extension in 2019, so his no trade cones from 10/5 and likely didn’t cost him anything in the negotiations.

If he refuses to be traded I think you dfa him and sell some random minor leaguer for $200M. Cash considerations, baby.
   45. McCoy Posted: July 22, 2022 at 07:01 AM (#6087739)
If there were some team options in the contract I could see a player saying those need to be picked up but beyond that I don't a player saying give me more money to trade me.
   46. jingoist Posted: July 22, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6087820)
The local press has the sale of the Nats as “almost certain by November” of this year.
The trade deadline could help the Lerners separate the real versus tire kicker types given the impact of having Soto through 2024 versus a group of quality minor leaguers.
Fans are seeing that this rebuild will not be a 2 or 3 year process as this team has no quality players outside of Bell and Soto.
Ruiz and Gray look promising but are no sure bet.
Given the situation, potential new ownership might wants Soto around to put 15 to 20,000 fannies in seats for the next two years.
Otherwise many Washingtonians will all have better things to do than a trip to Nats Park where you are guaranteed a loss 7 out of 10 games.
   47. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2022 at 06:20 PM (#6087853)
Given the situation, potential new ownership might wants Soto around to put 15 to 20,000 fannies in seats for the next two years. Otherwise many Washingtonians will all have better things to do than a trip to Nats Park where you are guaranteed a loss 7 out of 10 games.
There’s been reporting that some potential bidders have conveyed that they consider the Nationals more valuable with Soto, and want him retained, or at least the decision on trading him left to the new owners. If trading Soto knocks 10% off the offers, that ~ $250M, which presumably would be more far important to the Lerners than how many Top 100 prospects they can get for Soto.

On the other hand, some, such as Buster Olney during last night ESPN game, have suggested that new owners would want the bloody deed done before they took over, to deflect blame. However, Olney attributed that sentiment to ‘those in the industry’, rather than potential bidders, so he might be relying on sources hoping to trade for Soto.

In any event, I expect the Lerners to do whatever they think would boost the sale price, assuming that Soto’s status would have some effect.
   48. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 23, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6087960)
some potential bidders have conveyed that they consider the Nationals more valuable with Soto...


Isnt that obvious? He's only 23 so you can build a future around him.

..have suggested that new owners would want the bloody deed done before they took over, to deflect blame...


that sentiment doesnt make a lot of sense to me. If you pay a billion dollars for a team, and you do elect to trade Soto, do you really care how the fans feel? YOu have to be pretty insulated being in that position.
   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 23, 2022 at 01:51 PM (#6087965)
If you pay a billion dollars for a team, and you do elect to trade Soto, do you really care how the fans feel? YOu have to be pretty insulated being in that position.
Forbes values the Nationals at $2B, and I believe teams have regularly sold for more than their Forbes assessment in recent decades. $2.5B is the amount most often bandied about, from what I’ve seen. The value is less without Soto, due to loss of his services and the negative reaction of a large portion of the fan base - the customers. I don’t think new owners will be insulated from the fallout if Soto is traded by the Lerners - the new owner’s Soto-less team will be non-competitive & lack the inner-circle HoF player that would still draw fans. At best, the new owners might be able to mend fences a bit faster if they can turn things around in 2-3 years.

Keeping Soto still seems like the better long-term option, IMHO, or if not that, at least making a non-gimmicky best offer before trading him. The Lerners appear to disagree, unless their current posturing is designed to make a last best offer look better to Soto. Not working so far.
   50. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 23, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6087984)
Forbes values the Nationals at $2B, and I believe teams have regularly sold for more than their Forbes assessment in recent decades. $2.5B is the amount most often bandied about, from what I’ve seen. The value is less without Soto, due to loss of his services and the negative reaction of a large portion of the fan base - the customers.

In terms of population and demographics Washington is a great market, but (serious question) have the Nats ever established a fan base commensurate with that? Their longest run of competitive success was from 2012 through 2019, and with 4 first place finishes and 5 postseason appearances their best attendance ranking was 5th of 15, more often it was midpack, and before and since** it's been between 11th and 14th. IMO the new owners better not imagine that Nats fans are like Cubs fans, willing to keep packing the park even when mediocrity is almost a long term given. If the Nats keep floundering, they may wind up looking like the Mets without the monster sized cable contract, and finding that their fan base is mostly fair weather.

** Not counting their first year in 2005, when the newness factor brought them to 8th.
   51. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 23, 2022 at 05:17 PM (#6087990)
In terms of population and demographics Washington is a great market, but (serious question) have the Nats ever established a fan base commensurate with that? Their longest run of competitive success was from 2012 through 2019 . . .
Well, in all fairness, the Nationals missed out on the normal post-World Series win marketing boost, due to Covid. Building a fan base is a multi-year process, and the potential is still there. You have some of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country, a modern ballpark a block from the METRO subway, in an area that has now filled in with bars & restaurants that provide pre-and-post-game options. And for the degenerates, the Nationals official gaming partner has a sportsbook facility. Plenty of opportunity there, although you’re correct that fielding a competitive team is a prerequisite for long-term financial success.
   52. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 23, 2022 at 05:59 PM (#6087994)
And that ability to field a consistently competitive team is the key. Outside of the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Cubs, and to an extent the Cardinals and the Angels, very few teams can afford mediocrity for very long before it starts showing up at the gate.
   53. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 23, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6087996)
The price for Juan Soto:
The Nationals want “four to five top young players” for Soto, Ken Rosenthal said during a FOX Sports interview today. This “monstrous ask” consists of star prospects and/or players who have only recently made their MLB debuts, and thus are under control for several years. Given the size of this expected trade package, “at this point….it’s not really a negotiation. The Nationals are saying ’either you express a willingness to meet our price, or we just go to the next club,’ ” Rosenthal said.
Only a handful of teams could meet that price, although it isn’t entirely clear how many of them would go for it.

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