The official Super Two cutoff for this winter hasn’t yet been established, but it’s expected that Nationals outfielder Juan Soto will surpass it, Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington reports. That should put the 22-year-old slugger in line for a lucrative pay raise over the minimal amount he earned in 2020, and it could perhaps lead to a record-setting salary for a first-time arbitration-eligible player.
As a reminder, Super Two status gives a player who has more than two but fewer than three years’ service time a chance to go to arbitration four times instead of the typical three. Soto has amassed two years and 134 service time during what has been a brilliant career so far.
Since he broke into the majors in 2018, Soto has slashed an otherworldly .295/.415/.557 with 69 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 1,349 plate appearances, and he helped lead the Nationals to a World Series in 2019. The Nationals didn’t come close to defending their championship this year, but Soto did all he could to keep the team on top. As a 22-year-old, he was likely the best hitter in baseball, leading the NL in all three triple-slash categories (.351/.490/.695) with 13 HRs and six steals over 196 PA. Soto also totaled far more walks (53, including 12 intentional passes) than strikeouts (28).
While it’s unclear exactly how the arbitration process will unfold on the heels of a 60-game season, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects Soto will rake in anywhere from $4.5MM to $8.5MM. Even at the high end, though, Soto would fall short of the record $11.5MM salary then-first-time arb-eligible player Cody Bellinger received in 2018.