Baseball "service time" and arbitration and all that stuff is so annoying. Like blah, blah, blah, he played an extra inning in his 2nd year so now he's eligible for another pay jump but because of a ground rule double on the road in the central time zone, it's a 3 year deduction but only if his name has the qualifying number of vowels. Don't believe me? Read it yourself:
NBCSports - Soto’s major-league service time is expected to move him just beyond the arbitration-eligible threshold to be agreed upon by the Major League Baseball Players Association and league in the coming days, according to a source.
As a result, Soto qualifies as a “Super 2” player -- one who has more than two but less than three years of service time -- and his 2021 salary will be launched from less than $1 million to a likely record-breaking sum for players in his position. Kris Bryant set the record for a first-year eligible player at $10.85 million in 2018. Soto could command around $12 million following his 2020 production, which would make a major dent in the Nationals finances as they attempt to retool their roster this offseason and beyond.
So I have an easy solution for this. Hand Juan Soto a blank check and tell him to fill in whatever number he wants. Say "hey man, we want you for the next 15 years, write a number you think is fair.". If he writes down $1 Billion, great, sounds like a discount to me. Say he writes down $2 billion. Perfect, below market value. There's not a number alive that Juan would theoretically write on that blank check that the Nats would say no to. (Keep in mind Juan Soto is a fair and moral gentleman, he wouldn't write down something he didn't believe he was worth).
Thankfully there's already some contracts the Nats can model Soto's after, namely Ronald Acuna's, who signed for 8 years, $100 million, which is a big steal for the Braves. I do not foresee Soto taking anything under $20 mil a season. There's just no way. Guy will be an MVP candidate for the next decade plus, and will expect to be paid as such. Not to say Acuna isn't, but 8/100 probably will not be close to what Soto will demand.
But the Nats gotta pay up, and I'm sure they will. And in 3 years they will take a look at the balance sheets and go "hmmm, this deal has already paid off". And it will. With another World Series. So congrats to Juan Soto on the billionaire status. Well deserved my guy.