Nationals

Zimmerman: Soto’s value is much more than on-field performance

Nationals
Ryan Zimmerman and Juan Soto

Juan Soto, $500 million player?

There’s never been one in the history of Major League Baseball, but The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga made the case in an article published Tuesday that the Nationals should offer Soto half a billion dollars this offseason to lock up the NL MVP finalist for the next 15 years.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, a free agent this offseason, joined 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning and discussed why Soto’s value is based on more than just his production on the field.

“So many people just think, ‘How much does Juan Soto give them value on the field?’ But how many people read that article in The Washington Post because Juan Soto’s name was in it? And…there’s a lot of other things that he brings attention to the Nationals’ organization that is essentially free marketing,” Zimmerman said.

“People think that it’s just what he does on the field — which you’re not going to get $500 million unless you’re a stud on the field — but the Patrick Mahomes’s and the Steph Curry’s, they bring immeasurable value off the field and for the organization that people don’t always put in that equation. So I think the normal fan doesn’t understand that the Washington Nationals are getting free clicks, or whatever you wanna call it in that world where you quantify that, by having Juan Soto going to the All-Star Game every year, doing the Home Run Derby, being a [high] jersey seller so a lot of those things go into that too.”

 

Soto, 23, made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career this year. He’s coming off a historic season that will see him finish among the top 10 in NL MVP voting for the third-straight year and likely secure his second consecutive Silver Slugger award. The young phenom has emerged as one of the best hitters in the sport and Washington is entering a crucial period of its franchise with him to build around.

It remains to be seen whether the Nationals entertain such a lucrative deal, but Zimmerman sees Soto as a player that would be worth the money both as a player and a marketing gold mine.