The San Diego Padres are reportedly hesitant on offering Juan Soto a megadeal until he proves to be the same player he was with the Washington Nationals, according to Jon Heyman.
The Padres gave up a massive haul for Soto last August and were widely expected to at the very least entertain negotiations for an extension with the star outfielder. Rumors emerged that the two sides discussed a new contract in January but nothing came to fruition.
San Diego has not been shy to give players massive contracts. The Padres gave Fernando Tatis Jr. a 14-year, $340 million deal and just signed Manny Machado to an 11-year, $350 contract in February.
Soto reportedly turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract offer from the Nationals before being traded. With Scott Boras as his agent, Soto is unlikely to sign for less than that number, especially if he is to return to form.
Entering Thursday’s action, Soto has a slash line of .232/.384/.408 in 65 games with the Padres. That is far off from his .301/.432/.550 line that he posted in four full seasons with the Nationals from 2018-2021.
Despite the drop in numbers, Soto is still one of the most feared and patient hitters in baseball. He has led the league in walks each of the past two seasons and is already up to 11 in 59 plate appearances this season.
Juan Soto isn’t set to become a free agent until after the 2024 season, so the Padres have the advantage of being able to negotiate with him before any other team can. Boras clients, especially one of Soto’s stature, typically like to test free agency to get the biggest deal. That alone may push the Padres to either cough up some extra money to avoid a bidding war or allow Soto to walk altogether.
The post RUMOR: Padres ‘pondering winning offer’ to seal Juan Soto extension appeared first on ClutchPoints.