Mark Lerner says Nationals have reached out to Juan Soto for contract extension

Lerner: Nats have reached out to Soto, Boras for extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With some of baseball’s brightest stars getting long-term contract extensions, like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., all eyes have shifted to Juan Soto as the next candidate to ink a massive deal. 

Soto is more than deserving of a contract at or above Tatis’ 14-year, $340 million deal with the Padres, but Nationals fans have been cautious to expect such an agreement after watching Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon walk in free agency for massive contracts. 

However, team owner Mark Lerner told ABC 7’s Scott Abraham that the team is making an effort to keep Soto in D.C. for a long time. 

“We would love to lock up Juan to a long-term deal, but he and his agent have to be ready to do that. We reached out to them and we’ll see what happens,” Lerner said. “We’ll try our best. The fans know we will try our best to keep a special player like Juan.”

Back in February, general manager Mike Rizzo described the extension talks with Soto as, “in the early stages.” 

Soto is set to make $8.5 million this season and has three more years of arbitration until he can hit free agency in 2025. So there’s plenty of time for the Nationals to agree to a contract with Soto, but the longer both sides wait, the more time other young players have to sign extensions that could reset the market at a higher number than Tatis and San Diego. 

In the meantime, Soto can simply focus on building off of a strong 2020 campaign in which he won a Silver Slugger and came in fifth in NL MVP voting. 

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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