Juan Soto’s All-Star Sport travels trigger a stir in Nationals’ contract talks

Soto’s travels to ASG causes a stir in contract talks initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Philadelphia

All-Star weekend did little to assist contract negotiations between Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals.

The 23-year-old All-Star reportedly flew business from Atlanta to Los Angeles on Sunday evening, touchdown early Monday morning, in accordance with Soto’s agent, Scott Boras. The Nationals beat the Braves 7-3 on Sunday afternoon, the day earlier than Soto was on account of compete within the Dwelling Run Derby.

Whereas Boras did not touch upon whether or not or not Soto and the Nationals ever mentioned the logistics of chartering a aircraft, he drew a transparent distinction between Soto’s association of arriving in California with that of six Atlanta Braves All-Stars.

“The Atlanta Braves arrived right here 5 hours sooner than Juan Soto did. why? As a result of their workforce chartered a aircraft,” Boras mentioned. “Juan Soto needed to fly on a business flight and wait in an airport for 2 hours and get right here at 1:30 within the morning. …That is one thing that Main League Baseball didn’t maintain and that is one thing that the Washington Nationals didn’t maintain.”

The less-than-ideal journey preparations did not show expensive for the outfielder. Soto held off rookie phenom Julio Rodriguez 19-18 within the ultimate spherical to win the Dwelling Run Derby. He grew to become the second-youngest Derby champion, checking in a day older than Juan Gonzalez when he gained in 1993.

Soto joined the Nationals in 2015 as a global free agent and is at the moment enjoying his fifth season within the majors. He is emerged as one of many sports activities’ subsequent greats, incomes back-to-back All-Star nods and main the league in a variety of classes, together with walks and on-base share.

Information broke on Saturday, two days earlier than the Dwelling Run Derby, that Soto had turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension by the Nationals. The deal would’ve been the most important contract in MLB historical past. This supply appeared to be the Nationals’ try and sweeten the deal, after Soto beforehand declined a 13-year, $350 million extension forward of the lockout.

Within the wake of this information, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported that the Nationals had been reportedly open to commerce conversations.

Whereas the pure assumption is that Soto desires out of DC, his feedback on Monday earlier than the Dwelling Run Derby paint a extra sophisticated image for the Nationals’ entrance workplace.

“A pair weeks in the past, they had been saying they’ll by no means commerce me, and now all this stuff got here out,” Soto mentioned. “It feels actually uncomfortable. You do not know what to belief. However on the finish of the day, it is out of my palms of what choice they make.”

The Nationals now should determine whether or not they’ll pony up much more cash, threat shedding him in free company in 2024 or commerce him within the close to future to maximise their return. No matter path the 2 events head might have important implications within the NL East for years to return.

Not arranging a chartered aircraft most likely wasn’t the olive department Soto’s workforce was in search of.

Soto wasn’t the one All-Star to not obtain a chartered aircraft supply. The Oakland Athletics deliberate to ship star pitcher Paul Blackburn on a business flight when the Houston Astros caught wind and provided to scoop the divisional rival en path to Los Angeles.

“It reveals inside baseball, it is like a brotherhood,” Blackburn mentioned. “Everybody respects one another …I am significantly appreciative of their group.”