Wednesday will be a first step in a coming years-long journey of financial management.
Trea Turner and Juan Soto are arbitration eligible together for the first time. The Nationals need to tender contracts to both before Wednesday’s 8 p.m. deadline. They, of course, will. That doesn’t mean the sides will agree on a final salary by Wednesday night. But they will be through the initial procedural step toward hefty raises for both. And the Nationals should become accustomed to that idea.
First, the immediate impact of providing Soto and Turner their new, improved 2021 contracts will be to help the club understand their possible spending chunk for this winter. Soto achieving “Super 2” status elevates his salary from a pittance, likely under $1 million, to a factor, with him more in the $8 million range. Turner could creep to $15 million or more, a massive jump from his $7.45 million agreed to in the same situation before the 2020 season. Projections are difficult — like everything else — because of how the season was altered thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
But, what’s clear, are significant raises for Turner and Soto are starting this season and set to continue until each hits free agency. Turner can become a free agent in 2023. Soto can become a free agent in 2025 — after four years of escalating salary in arbitration.
Back in January of 2020 — five lifetimes ago, roughly — Turner…