Soto the cold-blooded checker is he already out of his mind because he’s in last place?
The Washington Nationals became a strong team by winning their first World Series title in 2019, including the former Montreal Expos.
However, Washington fell back to the bottom of the National League East for the third consecutive year until last year. It is unprecedented in Major League history that it has fallen to the last place in the world for three consecutive years immediately after winning the World Series.
The reason is simple. This is because a large number of World Series winners left the team and did not raise prospects properly. Last year alone, Max Scherzer, Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand, John Leicester, Josh Harrison, Jan Gomes and trainers moved through the trade. Earlier, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon parted ways with Washington as FA. It is not a club without money, but it was criticized for not doing its best to catch the necessary players.
However, it is considered Washington’s biggest achievement to find the strongest hitter in the world. It is Juan Soto (24).
Soto, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, signed a $1.5 million signing bonus with Washington as an international FA in July 2015. As soon as he made his big league debut in 2018, he took the starting position and emerged as Washington’s leading hitter with 34 home runs and 110 RBIs in 2019. Last year, he showed a more mature batting average of .313, 29 home runs, 95 RBIs, 111 runs scored, and 0.999 OPS in 151 games. He also won the Silver Slugger award for the second consecutive year.
However, Soto refused a 13-year, $350 million long-term contract proposed by Washington after last season. In an ESPN interview in February, he said, “It’s true that I’ve been offered that, but my agent and I think it’s best to wait until we become FA. Scott Boras will control the situation.
If the agent is Boras, it should be considered that the FA market is unconditionally tested. Soto will become an FA only after the 2024 season. There are still three seasons left. It seems like a distant future, but Soto may have already made up his mind.
“Soto wants to win,” Boras said last November. Soto wants to be with a team that is willing to win and makes such an effort. That’s the starting point of our negotiations, he said. “If that happens, we can talk about it anytime.” If Washington has a winning record, it can sign an extension contract before becoming an FA.
However, this year, Washington seems to be already losing its postseason, let alone winning. Washington lost 7-9 in an away game against the Colorado Rockies on the 6th (Korea Standard Time). In the game, Soto performed well in the top of the first inning with two hits and two walks, including a 411-foot superior solo home run, but the team lost due to a mound collapse. It was a game that revealed the current state of Washington.
Washington is last in the Eastern District with 9 wins and 18 losses. For the fourth consecutive year, it seems highly likely to be the lowest on Earth. The batting line is worth seeing as it has Soto, but the mound collapsed. The team’s ERA is 5.03, ranking 29th out of 30 teams. Stephen Strasburg is said to have entered rehabilitation pitching, but it is difficult to expect much even if he returns.
Is it because of the chaotic atmosphere of the team? Soto, who swung a hard hit on the day, went on a walk in the top of the fifth inning, trailing 3-4, advanced to third base, and was criticized for being out in check by the opposing catcher. He poured cold water on the chase