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 their own left arm in return.
If a deal for Soto were to materialize, the Nats would likely require their business partner to take on starting pitcher Patrick Corbin’s bloated contract, in addition to supplying “several major league 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 southpaw is 29-42 with a 4.73 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. He is actively claiming the title of worst starting pitcher in MLB since the start of the 2021 season, boasting a 5.84 ERA in 50 appearances during that span.
The 33-year-old has two and a half years left on his contract, which is expected to reach a whopping $35.4 million in salary in 2024, according to Spotrac.
Given Corbin’s lackluster game and exorbitant price tag, it’s no wonder the Nationals are hoping to offload the ailing veteran. In exchange for another team picking up some or all of the pitcher’s remaining salary, Washington would likely have to settle for a Soto deal with fewer players and prospects.
The Nats’ new requirement adds another hurdle to teams interested in Soto, who rejected a 15-year, $440 million extension last week. Along with acquiring Corbin’s less-than-desirable contract, the suitor is expected to offer Soto an extension that could cost up to $500 million and leave with many of their top prospects.
With less than two weeks until the August 2 trade deadline, it remains to be seen if any club will take it all on.