No surprise: Nats tender Soto, Turner

December 3rd, 2020

In an expected move, the Nationals tendered contracts to standouts and .

The league-wide deadline to tender 2021 contracts to arbitration-eligible players was 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and Washington did not non-tender any players. The club agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with right-hander Joe Ross on Tuesday.

So what’s next for left fielder Soto and shortstop Turner? The deadline for arbitration exchange is Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. ET. Per the Cot's Baseball Contracts site, Soto is estimated to earn about $5 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility, while Turner’s third-year arbitration salary is estimated at about $11 million. The Nationals avoided arbitration with Turner last January by agreeing to a one-year, $7.45 million deal for this past season.

Soto is coming off a 2020 performance in which he became the youngest player to win the National League batting title (.351) at 21 years old. In his third Major League season, he posted the highest rates by a qualified hitter since Barry Bonds in 2004 with a .490 on-base percentage, .695 slugging percentage, 1.185 OPS and 201 weighted runs created plus (wRC+). Over 47 games, he posted 54 hits, 13 home runs, 37 RBIs, 14 doubles and 39 runs scored.

Turner, 27, played in all but one game in his sixth season. He put together a career-long 16-game hitting streak (Aug. 14-31) followed by a 10-game hitting streak (Sept. 3-12). He slashed .335/.394/.588 with a .982 OPS. Turner led all of baseball with 78 hits and paced the NL with four triples.

Both players received votes for the 2020 Most Valuable Player Award. Soto finished fifth and Turner ranked seventh.