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Padres’ Juan Soto: IT HAD BEEN ‘Uncomfortable’ That $440M Nationals Contract Offer Leaked

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NORTH PARK Padres outfielder Juan Soto called his final weeks in Washington “uncomfortable” following the Nationals’ $440 million contract extension offer was leaked to the media.

“We tried to help keep it as private once we can, which number just arrived. … it had been pretty tough,” Soto told ESPN. “It had been uncomfortable. I was looking to get things private, keep talking and all that sort of stuff, however they just throw that number on the market. It feels really uncomfortable. It certainly shocked me, also it feels really painful.”

The Nationals traded Soto and first baseman Josh Bell to the Padres for C.J. Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, Jarlin Susana and Luke Voit at the deadline in what’s been called among the largest trade hauls in MLB history.

Soto signed with the Nationals being an international free agent in 2015 at age 16. He quickly worked his way through the business and made his MLB debut in 2018, bursting onto the scene being an instant-impact superstar.

Built with elite power and the very best batting eye of his generation, Soto finished in the very best 10 in NL MVP voting in all of his first three full seasons in Washington and built a resume that made him a near-lock to end up being the highest-paid player in baseball history when he hit free agency. The Nationals offered him a historic 15-year, $440 million offer that doubled because the largest guarantee in MLB history and a clear low-ball offer.

“By the end of your day, it really is what it really is,” Soto said. “I was feeling great on that team. I was feeling very good. I was trying my best. They i want to find out about it, early in the entire year, that it’s a business plus they would like to get me, but this and that.”

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo called your choice to trade Soto “brutal” and said it had been “emotional” for him given the partnership he’s developed with the outfielder and his family through the years. Soto’s younger brother, Elian, is set to sign with the business when he becomes eligible in January.

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