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Padres Rumors: Juan Soto Set for Record-Breaking Contract in Final Year of Arbitration

Padres superstar outfielder is set to sign a record-breaking deal in arbitration this upcoming offseason.

Now that the Padres' season is officially over, attention shifts to the offseason in anticipation of 2024. One of the main stories to follow will be the fate of Padres superstar outfielder Juan Soto. According to MLB Trade Rumors, there is speculation that Soto could sign a record-breaking arbitration deal.

It's projected that Soto's contract via arbitration will be $33 million, which would break the previous record of $30 million, which was set by Shohei Ohtani in the previous year. A 24-year-old phenom, Soto played in all 162 games of the last season and set a career-high in home runs (35) while also leading the league in walks (132). Although it's just an estimated figure, players who perform as well as Soto did during the season typically receive much higher compensation than the previous year.

The club already announced the return of general nanager A.J. Preller and manager Bob Mevlin for the 2024 season, so retaining one of the team's most productive hitters is of the utmost importance. While an arbitration deal only ties Soto to the Padres for one year before he becomes a free agent in 2025, there is hope for a long-term contract. In an interview with local radio show 97.3 "The Fan," Preller had this to say regarding talks with Juan Soto's agent Scott Boras 

"There's definitely scenarios where being in San Diego is of interest, and we'll get into that a little bit more here in the next weeks and months and get more of a sense into exactly what that means."

(A.J. Preller on 97.3 "The Fan")

Although the 2023 season failed to meet the team and fans' expectations, re-signing a generational talent is a guaranteed way to excite the fans for next year.