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Elian Soto, the younger brother of Washington Nationals All-Star outfielder Juan Soto, plans to sign a deal to play for the Nationals, City Paper has learned. The New York Post reported last week that Elian intended to sign a deal with the New York Mets, but over the weekend, with advice from his older brother, the talented teenage outfielder decided to sign with the Nats.
Elian Soto just turned 16 on Monday, and he is not eligible to officially sign the deal with the Nats until January of 2023. Clubs make these type of handshake deals with international prospects sometimes more than a year in advance of their eligibility. International free agency guidelines could be changed if and when the new CBA is ratified.
Elian Soto has demonstrated more power than his older brother displayed at age 15, slugger Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. told Z101 Digital’s Héctor Gómez. The Soto brothers are represented by agent Scott Boras.
The signing of Elian Soto might help negotiations on a long-term deal between the club and Juan Soto. The two-time Silver Slugger becomes a free agent in 2025 and is arbitration eligible for the first time this upcoming season.
The Juan Soto negotiations are crucial for the Nationals and the future of their offense. The organization has re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, but has let All-Star sluggers Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon become free agents in recent years.
Photo by Ian D’Andrea on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license.