MLB rumors: Predicting the next 5 young stars to sign contract extensions

Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, MLB, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays

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MLB rumors, Juan Soto

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres walks to the dugout after striking out looking during the third inning of a game against the Washington Nationals at PETCO Park on August 19, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

After seeing both Michael Harris II and Julio Rodriguez sign long-term extensions, which young MLB stars will be the next to ink big contracts?

Just in the past month alone, two of baseball’s brightest young stars in Braves rookie outfielder Michael Harris II and, as of Friday, Mariners rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez have signed long-term contract extensions with their respective teams.

For the most part, we’ve seen a number of these deals pop up recently with the clubs taking a bit of a gamble on a smaller sample size in the name of the player signing a team-friendly deal that pays them substantially more than their previous contract but still doesn’t break the bank.

This is to say that we might be looking at the new trend for front offices to jump on. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the next five young MLB stars who will sign long-term contract extensions — though some will be more team-friendly than others.

MLB rumors: 5 next young stars who will sign contract extensions

5. Juan Soto, San Diego Padres

This one’s a no-brainer. The Juan Soto saga leading up to the trade deadline revolved around the contract extension that the Washington Nationals were trying to sign the 23-year-old superstar outfielder to but they were coming up well short of the numbers that would be needed to get this deal done.

Of course, he has since been traded to the San Diego Padres and, despite a dubious start to his career with his new team, there’s no question that they are going to pay him just about everything he wants, which is quite a lot as he reportedly wants to set records for total money and average annual value.

Given what San Diego gave up for the 23-year-old, though, it feels like a formality that Soto will eventually get that contract, likely sooner rather than later. He’s undoubtedly worth it, though, given the numbers he’s already put up at such a young age.

Over his four-plus seasons in the majors, Soto is slashing .291/.428/.536 with a career OPS+ of 160. Oh yeah, he also has 121 homers, 111 doubles, 10 triples and 362 RBi to his credit. And again, this is a guy who is still only 23 years old. He’ll be well worth every penny for the future of the Padres.

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