Padres and Juan Soto reach $23 million deal and avoid arbitration

Outfielder Juan Soto and the San Diego Padres agreed to a one-year, $23 million contract on Friday to avoid arbitration, sources tell ESPN, in what is expected to be the richest deal ever. a day when hundreds of players settle their salaries for the 2023. season.

The arbitration process allows players with more than three years of major league service to negotiate their salaries with teams for the upcoming season. In cases where the parties cannot agree on a deal by Friday’s deadline, they exchange numbers which they then take to an arbitration hearing, where a three-person panel listens to a case and chooses a side. .

Soto, 24, is in his third year of refereeing, as he was one of a handful of so-called Super 2s – players who qualify after more than two major league seasons – who had previously won $8.5 million and $17.1 million in the system. With one round of arbitration still to come, Soto has a good chance of overtaking Shohei Ohtani, who agreed to a $30 million contract this winter, for the highest salary ever awarded to an eligible player. arbitration.

Ohtani, 28, is expected to reach free agency after the 2023 season and could claim the first $500 million+ contract in baseball history. Soto, who turned down a 14-year, $440 million contract with the Washington Nationals before trading it to San Diego before the July deadline, can reach free agency after the 2024 season and could find himself in the same financial district.

Among others, who reaped significant paydays as deals were finalized late morning and early afternoon Friday:

While players who don’t reach a settlement by Friday often find themselves in hearings in February, they are free to negotiate with teams and settle ahead of time. The Seattle Mariners have announced they failed to reach a deal with three players, including slugger Teoscar Hernandez, whom they acquired in a trade this winter.

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