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.
Soto definitely deserves whatever he gets. Way, way, way above 500k.
I absolutely Agree!!!
The guys a stud and deserves to get paid, unlike that tool Harper
I still cannot believe Harper and Heyward were awarded the contracts they got. Harper won a MVP and the Phillies dumped buckets of cash on him because of that one season and his potential? Heyward is a good overall player but still cannot believe the Cubs paid him that much.
The Harper hate is pathetic at this point. Comparing him to Heyward is insane, Harper is so much better than him. Bryce has done nothing but produce in the bigs. His career OPS+ is 138 and got paid market value for his prime. He deserved the contract he got.
Harper is well worth the AAV so far. The hate is ridiculous.
I think its insane Harper turned down 300mil over 10 years. Only to agree to 330mil over 13 years. Which is 0nly 10mol aav for those 3 years. Is 3mil aav really a big difference in this day in age of ridiculous contracts.
On top of all that he has has no opt outs.
The hate is ridiculous, but I don’t agree with the first part. He is paid like a superstar, he isn’t. On the other hand, you are worth what someone is willing to pay you.
It’s not that insane since he got more money and more guaranteed time from the Phillies. Man wanted to max out his contract and he did. That’s not crazy
Plus the Nats offer had a ton of deferrals. Brings value way down.
three things you’re not taking into account
1st, the 10/300 had 100 million(!!!) deferred. He would not have been paid out until he was 65
2nd, he wanted the record for all time free agent $ and knew manny was getting 300M
3rd,philly didn’t offer 10/300 and not sure anyone did without deferrals. Philly wanted the 13 year deal at that point to drag the aav down to 25M for the luxury tax. For Harper, he gets all that money by the end of the deal to do whatever he wants
He’s probably gonna retire by the time the deal is done. I bet if doesn’t get a ring by year 9 or 10. he’ll waive his no trade clause. Go to the Yankees. Being left handed he’s perfect for Yankees Stadium
Harper wanted the largest salary and wasn’t focused on the most per year. That lasted about 72 hours – until Trout signed his new deal.
And I totally agree that signing for THAT LONG with no opt outs was nuts. Scott Boras is an evil man, but I thought he was smarter than that.
The Phillies were the only team bidding Boras did just fine for his client
Trout, Betts, Soto, the Nats should lock this guy up!
What are the chances Soto stays with nats? I know several key players are on backloaded deals so wondering will they be able to Afford him?
They could also backload a contract for Soto like they did Scherzer, Strasburg, and Corbin? Soto just has to agree to it?
Cody Bellinger would like to remind you of his record $11.5 Million last offseason.
Good catch. Thanks.
Soto should be getting at least $15M.
And Juan Soto would like to remind you that Cody Bellinger couldnt carry his jock strap.
Nats can’t be too happy, he’s going to make record breaking arbitration paydays at a time when every team wants to act like they’re broke.
Why? His record breaking arb raises are pennies in comparison to the playoff & WS rev he was a part of.
Plus he isn’t going to get paid what he’s worth as a first time arb eligible player
I don’t see the Nationals crying broke anytime soon. They have very wealthy owners who are willing to spend money to win. If they do we should all be very concerned
Oh contraire. The Nats are very happy. Paying a kid about a 1/3 to 1/4 of his true market value. Clubs dream about those kind of problems.
I’ll take him I guess haha. Geez. Best hitter in baseball making a max of 8.5m sounds pretty good to every team in baseball
Every at-bat of his is must-see TV, and worth every cent he gets and then some. He played this season as a 21-year old, as he just turned 22 a few days ago.
He is a super star and deserves a huge deal
Waiting on that Juan Soto non-tender lmao
This guy is the man. I want to see him get paid. I love his attitude. Then there’s the fact that he’s already the best hitter in the league at 22. The Nats should start trying to sign him to an extension because he could set the record really easily. They should at least offer the Acuna extension and if he takes it he will be way more valuable than him at that money.
* They should at least offer the Acuna extension and if he takes it he will be way more valuable than him at that money.*
This is the same as saying the Nats should offer him a deal that he would be stupid to accept.
Juan Soto = Not Stupid
And….Scott Boras = Not stupid
In this current economic climate and the risk of injuries you never know. He is young too. Set it to hit FA again at 29. The he gets paid even more. Or give him an opt out at 27 and beg paid even more.
Either way my point was they should have made a similar offer the day after winning the world series.
Not to be a jerk Luda, but that deal was seen as an embarrassment for how badly the Braves took Acuna’s agent to school
You think it would be good for long term morale and negotiations to offer him a deal everyone agrees sucks? Yes they should sign Soto long term. But going in with that offer would be an insult
Truly at the end of the day, I’m not sure they plan to get it done right now. They seem to prefer to spend big money on arms more than bats lately. They didn’t wanna spend on Rendon or Harper. Will they do it for Soto?
I think it was Albies deal that was considered bad for Albies. Acuna’s deal was/is a steal too but not as much as Albies.
Laughing — they could not afford to sign both Harper and Rendon. They pursued Rendon more aggressively, but in the end he wanted to play out west. That’s the way it goes sometimes. They have 1/2 the payroll tied up in 3 pitchers, one of them Scherzer. Once he comes off the books, it’s probable that they’ll throw the cash at Soto.
I don’t understand the narrative out there that guys are signing because they want to play in a certain area or city. What I’ve seen is guys taking the best offer. Cole for instance didn’t sign with the Yankees because he wanted to be in pinstripes. The whole narrative going into his free agency was he’d want to be on the west coast until he signed with the Yankees then people try to change the narrative. The Yankees offer was the biggest offer on the table what a coincidence
Soto will get paid in 22 after Scherzer contract is finished, not counting deferrals.
He’d be nuts to take the Acuna deal.
Acuna was nuts to take the Acuna deal.
Aboslutley nuts if he takes the Acuna deal. Juan Soto is the best thing since Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts He knows that too, he’s does this thing they call the Soto shuffle cause he knows. Not to many get called up at the age of 19 cause they are slugging .700+ at triple A then come to the big leagues and slug .500+ with OBS of .400+. I think he’s the only one thus far.
I’m wondering if the Nats will go for arb this year, wait for Scherzer’s $35M to come off the books and try to sign Soto to a long term deal this time next year.
I hope they sign him long term. Love getting to see him play here in the DMV.
That makes sense to me..
They can just backload it. If Soto has one more season like he has had, his price will only go up. By paying him more in 2021, they might be able to save some money on future years that they can reinvest on other players.
They average the total value of the deal over the life of the contract, so while backloading it would help them from a cash flow perspective, it would not help them from a CBT perspective. I’m sure the Nats, like most teams, will want to be below the CBT threshold this season, so a Soto deal after next year makes much more sense even if it is a little more expensive.
Soto and Acuna are like Williams and DiMaggio.
Wait? Who is Williams? Soto, right?
Acuna strikes out way too much to be compared to either of these legends. Soto for sure is a good comp for either player though.
I wonder if one way to get rid of the service time shenanigans would be to eliminate the super two and give a player with more than one month on the team credit for a full year. That way a player doesn’t get stuck with that seventh year before he can qualify for free agency. Said player gains a year when he is at his peak. Maybe limit raises in arbitration to a percentage upper limit (30%?) . Thoughts?
I’m not a fan of capping guys early career earning ability, especially when you consider they practically donate their first 3 years of value. Think of guys like Bellinger, where a star can make 11M/20M/28M=59 M in their 3 years, then hit free agency and get a 250M deal
Instead it would be 11M/~15M/20M=46M in 3 years. This fear of capped pay would, imo, then lead to a comeback of those 7/50(or way less) with 3 option deals that end up screwing the player over more times than not. Sure if they bust it was a great move, but otherwise they don’t get to free agency until their 32-34 and they lost their chance at the big payday. Think Goldy. His AZ deal probably kept him from getting 8-10 years at 30M, instead he got 5 years, 30M Each
If you want to cap arbitration, imo you have to start paying the guys something closer to market rate when they come up. Not 500K for a 4th starter
He’s been great. But lack of personal hardware will hold him below Cody’s number I believe. He was going in off the MVP season
Soto may set some records for 2nd, 3rd and 4th payouts tho If he keeps this up.
Apparently we can’t talk Contract numbers in MLBTR comment section anymore. For a freaking arbitration post
Cmon. You’re gonna block, read and approve *any and every* comment with freaking numbers? I highly doubt that
Censorship at its finest
Soto deserves the top line $ that is available today for 2 yr guy! Proven to team he hits in the clutch. Won a WS ring !! Nats need another big bat behind Soto in lineup- a la Rendón. Come on Lerners!$$
Harper is not worth the $, no rings, real leader he ain’t, appeared to be full of himself in DC (hair, helmet fly off, so so w fans while on field), but does mostly play hard.