Videos by OutKick
Fans of the Washington Nationals are understandably frustrated right now after the team traded Juan Soto, the team’s best player who is just 23-years-old, to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
And, predictably, they’re taking it out on the Nats’ social media team, which posted a seemingly harmless and straightforward farewell tweet to Soto on Tuesday evening.
The word “forever” with Soto and the “2019 World Series Champion” in the background makes it fairly obvious, right?
The team is saying Soto will forever be a champion in Washington — connecting the dots isn’t exactly like trying to crack the Da Vinci Code.
Who are we kidding?! Twitter is the perfect place to take things out of context and be irrationally angry!
Guys, come on. You know what the tweet meant, I know what the tweet meant, and it wasn’t that Soto is going to be in Washington forever. Be angry, but don’t be dumb.
Which brings me to my next point …
It’s probably time to stop being irrationally upset at the Nationals for trading Soto. I know it’s hard to hear, and probably a little too soon, but it needed to be said.
Let’s start here: the Nats tried to keep Soto.
The team offered him a massive new contract earlier this summer. Massive as in 15 years and $440 million, which would have been the most lucrative contract in MLB history. That was reportedly one of three offers the Nationals threw at Soto over the past few months, and he rejected them all.
It’s important to note that the backend of the proposed mega deal was a little suspect, and Soto’s average annual value would’ve been $29.3 million.
That’s too low for a player of Soto’s caliber and he knew it, so he said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’
That’s his right and, frankly, probably the smart move.
Soto, 23, is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season, which would line him up to become MLB’s first $500 million player. Mike Trout signed a record $426.5 million extension a few years ago, and Soto is almost assuredly going to want to surpass Trout on his deal.
Trout, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Bryce Harper and Soto’s newest teammate, Fernando Tatis Jr., all make up the biggest contracts in baseball right now. All of those deals except Harper’s were extensions, so don’t rule out the Padres giving Soto a massive deal.
It would be in their best interest to do so, too, because they just unloaded their farm system to get him.
Which brings up my next point …
Be mad that Soto is gone, but don’t overlook the HAUL of prospects Washington got in return, including pitcher Mackenzie Gore, shortstop C.J. Abrams and outfielder Robert Hassell III.
In all, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo got five prospects to start replenishing a depleted farm system, with Hassell taking over as the organization’s top player in the pipeline.
The Nationals (36-69) currently have the worst record in baseball and had a bad farm system at the same time. This team wasn’t going to be good next year (or probably the year after) with Soto in the middle of the lineup, so moving him makes sense.
The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts after the 2019 season for several prospects and Alex Verdugo and came within two games of the World Series last year. (Side note: the team is a mess right now, but you get the point)
Trading away the face of your franchise and quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime player is never going to sit well with fans, but looking foolish on Twitter isn’t going to bring him back.
Soto, by the way, sent out a series of tweets Wednesday morning thanking the organization and the fans.
Maybe this will make you keyboard warriors a little less angry!