The Washington Nationals have set an extraordinarily high price for teams to meet to acquire outfielder Juan Soto and the team is unwilling to budge or try to find a middle ground, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Rosenthal says the Nationals have told teams that it’ll cost “four to five top youngsters” — whether that be prospects or young major leaguers — to trade for Soto.
Soto, 23, is on the trade market after reportedly turning down a $440M extension offer from Washington. The two-time All-Star has drawn interest from several teams with the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals all inquiring about a deal, per USA Today.
This season, Soto leads the majors in walks and has a .250/.403/.494 slash line. While those are career low numbers, Soto has a chance at joining Frank Thomas and Wade Boggs as the only players in the last 60 years to begin their MLB careers with an on base percentage above .400 in each of their first five seasons.
That makes Soto incredibly valuable on the trade market, but teams have balked at the idea of parting with so many promising, young players. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, both the Mets and Yankees have said they will not part with their top three prospects, let alone four or five.