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Juan Soto flew commercial to All-Star Weekend after Washington Nationals refused charter flight

Matt Johnson

The Washington Nationals were willing to make All-Star outfielder Juan Soto one of the highest paid MLB players. However, it appears the club was not willing to shell out the cost of a charter flight for the superstar for MLB All-Star Weekend.

When players are named to the MLB All-Star Game, many of their teams offer a chartered flight to take them to the festivities and back. In the case of Oakland Athletics pitcher Paul Blackburn, the Houston Astros covered his chartered trip to Los Angeles when the A’s refused.

  • Juan Soto stats (2022): 20 home runs, 43 RBI, .250/.405/.497 slash line, .901 OPS

It seems the Nationals didn’t handle things well after Soto rejected their latest contract offer. According to Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated, Washington refused to charter a team plane for the perennial NL MVP candidate and made him fly commercial to Los Angeles.

“The Atlanta Braves arrived here (Los Angeles) five hours earlier than Juan Soto did. You know why? Because their team chartered a plane. Juan Soto had to fly on a commercial flight and wait in an airport for two hours and get here at 1:30 in the morning and have to compete in the Home Run Derby. And that’s something that Major League Baseball did not take care of and that’s something that the Washington Nationals did not take care of.”

Stephanie Apstein on Washington Nationals refusing to charter plane for Juan Soto

Scott Boras confirmed the report, adding that Soto arrived in Los Angeles around 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Hours later, he electrified Dodger Stadium and sent the MLB world into a frenzy by winning the 2022 Home Run Derby,

It’s not as if Nationals’ ownership doesn’t have the financial resources to cover a chartered flight to Los Angeles. In fact, the Lerner family should have even more disposable outcome considering they are seeking $3 billion to sell the team and there is an ongoing process to find new ownership for the club.

The team’s decision leaves the impression that Soto wasn’t provided with a chartered flight because he rejected their contract offer. If that’s the case, it immediately follows the Nationals leaking their final offer to him in an effort to suggest Soto was greedy and they made a fair offer.

Related: Evaluating potential Juan Soto trade destinations

Things like this can certainly hurt how players around the league view the club. If that’s the case and Soto’s frustrations with the Nationals become sentiments shared by his peers, it’s a good thing Washington’s MLB team will have new ownership soon.