Last Updated on July 17, 2022 by Lil Ginge
I could probably end this article right here. But, that would be a very short blog post. So let me give a little bit of context to the first paragraph.
The Washington Nationals, who are very terrible, recently offered Soto a contract extension worth $440 million dollars. Even with rampant inflation, that is still quite a lot of money.
Juan Soto said no. “I’m worth more than that.”
Here’s the real crazy shit: he may not even be wrong. Although he probably is by a bit.
Juan Soto Is An Amazing Hitter
In the COVID-shortened season of 2020, he put up 2.5 fWAR in roughly 200 at-bats. That would equate to 7.5 fWAR in a full 600 at-bat season.
Last season in 2021, Juan Soto was worth 7 fWAR.
So, there is a clear trend here. And that trend is that Juan Soto is very good at baseball. This is why I think the Mets should acquire him. Because people who are very good at baseball are the kinds of players the Mets need to keep winning baseball games over the next season or five.
I do not expect Juan Soto to be worth 7 WAR every season for the next decade. However, he is still extremely young for a ballplayer at just 22 years old. He has also been healthy and durable, playing full seasons since he was called up by the Nationals.
This is a special hitter. Barring some unforeseen craziness or a sudden loss of talent, he’s going to be good for a long time. Maybe a decade. Maybe more.
How Much Is Juan Solo Really Worth?
Let’s say Soto averages 5 WAR per season over the next decade. That seems quite possible given his track record so far.
1 WAR is worth approximately $8 million. So, 5 WAR is worth about $40 million. Therefore, 10 seasons of 5 WAR is worth about – $400 million!
So while Juan Soto’s request for more than $440 million may be a bit of a reach, it’s not totally super crazy insane in the membrane.
Why The Mets Need Soto
Here’s another thing. He’s the perfect fit for the New York Mets right now.
Okay, Juan Soto isn’t great with defense. Over the last 3 seasons, he’s been worth about -14.5 fWAR in the outfield. That’s not great. Pretty bad actually.
You know who else has been worse than -12 defensive WAR? Bryce Harper. Nobody seems to be complaining too hard about having him on their team.
Plus, the Mets desperately need a designated hitter. J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith have combined to fill 65% of the time in DH. They have combined for 0 WAR, or roughly what your average triple-A scrub would do if called up.
That is a bad number. No bueno. The Mets desperately need a DH. Who better than an offensive genius who can also stand in the outfield when you need him to because Starling Marte got hurt?
Yes, The Mets Should Be Willing to Trade Alvarez
Now, there is a little issue that the Mets have here. Trading for Soto will cost the Mets quite a bit in terms of minor league prospective talent.
Specifically, it will probably cost them Francisco Alvarez, who is roughly the best prospect in Major League Baseball. That’s a tough thing to do.
But the Mets should do it for Soto.
Here’s why. Many prospects do not work out. Some do. That’s why the word for them is “prospect.” In the best-case scenario, a young, 22-year-old prospect turns into an amazing 22-year-old baseball player.
An amazing 22-year-old baseball player like… Juan Soto.
You know who is already an amazing 22-year-old baseball player like Juan Soto? Juan Soto.
Instead of keeping Alvarez and hoping he blooms into Juan Soto, why not get Juan Soto who has already bloomed into Juan Soto?
But Alvarez Is A Catcher!
I have heard the argument that Alvarez could be worth more because he’s a catcher, and great catchers are rare. And great defensive catchers are even more rarer.
But 5 – 7 WAR in the outfield is as good as 5 – 7 WAR at catcher. And there’s no guarantee that Alvarez will average 5 WAR at catcher. And even if he averages 5 WAR at catcher, a 5 WAR catcher plus a 3 WAR outfielder is the same as a 5 WAR outfielder and a 3 WAR catcher.
Steven Cohen Is Very Rich.
Given Mets owner Steve Cohen’s vast pools of financial resources and the team’s needs, if the Mets can acquire Juan Soto for anything less than $450 million, it’s almost a no-brainer. If it takes $500 million, it’s probably still worth it.
If the Mets are wary of giving Soto a ten-year contract, they can build in opt-outs along the way. If Soto remains genuinely excellent for the next five years, which is a fair assumption at this point, he’ll opt out along the way. Then the Mets are no longer committed to 10 years.
I hate long-term contracts. There are very few players who should get ten years. The kinds of players who should be are 22-year-olds without serious injury issues that put up 5+ WAR per year.
Oh, hello Juan Soto. Hope to welcome you to the New York Mets soon.
If you enjoyed this article on why the Mets should trade for Juan Soto, check out my recent article The Yankees Must Sign Judge To A Long-Term Deal.