Juan Soto says he was offered 13-year, $350M extension by Washington Nationals before MLB lockout

The Washington Nationals offered a 13-year, $350 million extension to outfielder Juan Soto before the current lockout by Major League Baseball, he confirmed to ESPN's Enrique Rojas on Wednesday.

The offer, made before the work stoppage, was intended to start this season and did not include deferred money, a Nationals source told ESPN. Had it materialized, the 23-year-old would have earned an average salary of almost $27 million until 2034, when he will turn 36.

"Yes, they made me an offer a few months ago, before the lockout," Soto said. "But right now, my agents and I think the best option is to go year by year and wait for free agency. My agent, Scott Boras, has control over the situation."

Soto is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.

"Anyway, I still think of Washington as the place where I would like to spend the rest of my career, so we will see," Soto said.

The total offer from the Nationals would have been the third-highest contract extension in MLB history, bested only by the $365 million deal over 12 years that Mookie Betts received in 2020 from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the $360 million over 10 years given to Mike Trout by the Los Angeles Angels in 2019.

Soto, who has played four MLB seasons, is considered by many to be the purest hitter in the game today. The left-hander has hit .301 with a .432 OBP and a .981 OPS through 464 games.

In the 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, he led the majors in hitting, OBP and OPS. Last season, he had a .313 batting average and drew 145 walks while hitting 29 home runs with 95 RBIs.