The San Diego Padres and outfielder Juan Soto have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $23 million to avoid arbitration, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The outfielder is still set to become a free agent in 2025, but this arbitration step could help lead to an extension, similar to what happened with Rafael Devers and the Boston Red Sox.
Soto was acquired at the trade deadline in 2022 from the Washington Nationals. Soto played 52 games for the Padres and hit .236 with eight doubles, six home runs and 16 RBI. He got off to a slow start but then helped them make a postseason berth before being eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Soto is coming off back-to-back seasons of being named an All-Star. He won the 2022 Home Run Derby becoming the second-youngest winner in the event’s history. Soto won the World Series with the Nationals in 2019 and has been named a Silver Slugger three times in his career. At 24 years old, he is one of the players considered as the future of baseball and is expected to generate a mega deal whenever he gets his next long-term contract.