In addition to the 13-year, $350MM extension offer that Juan Soto reportedly turned down prior to the lockout, it was recently reported that Soto rejected a second offer after the lockout. The specific financial details of that second offer haven’t been publicly revealed, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it was for “at least” $400MM.
$400MM would be a significant symbolic barrier to cross, as it would be the first time an MLB player surpassed that threshold. The current record for the largest guarantee is the $365MM in new money given to Mookie Betts when he agreed to an extension with the Dodgers. Soto says that he’s still open to an extension, but it seems like it might take more than a record-breaking contract to get it done.
Other notes from the NL East…
- From the same Nightengale piece, he relays that the Mets plan on being aggressive at the trade deadline but without giving up their top prospects. Instead, they would prefer to make deals by taking on large contracts from other teams. This wouldn’t be the first time they considered this approach, as the Mets reportedly were in discussions with the Padres this offseason on a deal that would have sent Dominic Smith to San Diego in exchange for Chris Paddack, Emilio Pagan, Eric Hosmer and $30MM to help cover Hosmer’s salary. The deal ended up falling through due to the Mets’ medical staff growing concerned with the medical records of Paddack, who ended up requiring Tommy John surgery after being traded to the Twins instead. The new CBA added a fourth luxury tax line at the $290MM mark, which the Mets have pushed themselves right up against. Jason Martinez of Roster Resource estimates their current luxury tax number to be $289.4MM, but it seems the division-leading Mets are willing to push over the line in order to bolster the club for the final push. They apparently won’t be dipping deep into their farm system, which is ranked the 16th in the league by Baseball America, but should get a boost at the upcoming draft when they will make two out of the first 14 picks.
- The reason the Mets have an extra first round draft pick is because of last year’s Kumar Rocker saga. The Mets selected him 10th overall and were apparently going to offer him a $6MM bonus, $1.26MM above slot value, until they grew concerned by something in his throwing elbow during a post-draft medical evaluation and withdrew their offer. Now a report from Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan of ESPN relays that Rocker underwent shoulder surgery in September. Rocker’s agent Scott Boras characterized the procedure as “a minor scope” in the piece. Rocker signed with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League in preparation for re-entering the draft this year. Through five starts, he’s pitched 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA, 32 strikeouts and four walks. Despite the surgery, Jim Callis of MLB.com believes that Rocker has shown himself healthy enough to be selected at some point in the first round of the draft, which begins on July 17.