Washington Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto agreed to a one-year, $17.1 million deal on Tuesday to avoid arbitration.
Soto’s deal sets up the 23-year-old for a bigger payday somewhere down the line. Washington was reportedly rebuffed after it offered a 13-year, $350 million extension during the offseason.
Soto isn’t slated to become a free agent until after the 2024 season.
Soto was runner-up for National League MVP honors when he batted .313 with 29 homers and 95 RBIs in 151 games. He led the majors with 145 walks and a .465 on-base percentage.
One year earlier, Soto led the NL with a .351 batting average during the shortened 2020 season.
Overall, Soto has 98 homers and 312 RBIs in 464 career games. He has a career slash line of .301/.432./550.
The Nationals also agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with first baseman Josh Bell. The 29-year-old batted .261 with 27 homers and 88 RBIs in 144 games last season.
Washington also agreed to deals with right-handers Joe Ross ($2.4 million), Erick Fedde ($2.15 million), Austin Voth ($850,000) and Tanner Rainey (unknown).
–Field Level Media