A trade for Juan Soto will likely cost any interested team an arm and a leg, but the Washington Nationals are now looking to give up a lefty arm of their own in return.
If a deal for Soto were to materialize, the Nats would likely require their trade partner take on starting pitcher Patrick Corbin’s bloated contract, on top of providing “multiple major leaguers and top prospects,” according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
Corbin signed a six-year, $140 million contract with Washington in December 2018 but has hardly lived up to the massive deal. Over 94 starts for the Nationals, the lefty is 29-42 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. He actively boasts the title of worst starting pitcher in the MLB since the start of the 2021 season, possessing a 5.84 ERA in 50 appearances during that span.
The 33-year-old has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract, which is set to reach a whopping $35.4 million salary in 2024, according to Spotrac.
Considering Corbin’s lackluster play and exorbitant price tag, it’s no wonder the Nationals are hoping to offload the ailing veteran. In exchange for another team taking on some or all of the pitcher’s leftover salary, Washington would likely have to settle for a Soto deal sporting fewer players and prospects.
The Nats’ newest requirement adds another roadblock for teams interested in Soto, who rejected a 15-year, $440 million extension last week. In addition to acquiring Corbin’s less than desirable contract, the suitor would need to offer Soto an extension that could cost as much as $500 million and depart with many of their best prospects.
With less than two weeks left until the Aug. 2 trade deadline, it remains to be seen if any club will take on all of that.