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Nats agree with Turner, Soto, Bell (source)

@jessicacamerato
January 15, 2021

The Nationals had three contracts to address before Friday’s arbitration deadline -- two centerpieces of the organization and one newcomer -- and they did just that. The club agreed to one-year deals with shortstop Trea Turner, outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell. All clubs and players had until

The Nationals had three contracts to address before Friday’s arbitration deadline -- two centerpieces of the organization and one newcomer -- and they did just that.

The club agreed to one-year deals with shortstop Trea Turner, outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell. All clubs and players had until Friday at 1 p.m. ET to sign contracts for 2021 or exchange salary figures for next season.

Turner's deal is worth $13 million, Soto will earn $8.5 million and Bell's deal is worth $6.35 million, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

Washington tendered contracts to Soto and Turner early last month, and it acquired Bell from Pittsburgh on Christmas Eve.

Turner, in his third year of arbitration eligibility, showed off his consistency in 2020 with a career-long 16-game hitting streak, followed by another 10-game hitting streak. He slashed .335/.394/.588 with a .982 OPS. Turner led the Majors with 78 hits, and he finished seventh in the NL MVP Award voting. Washington avoided arbitration with Turner last offseason when the two sides agreed to a one-year, $7.45 million contract.

In 2020, Soto became the youngest player to win the National League batting title (.351 average) at 21 years old. He also recorded the highest rates by a qualified hitter since Barry Bonds in '04, tallying a .490 on-base percentage, a .695 slugging percentage, a 1.185 OPS and 201 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) in only his third Major League season. Soto posted 54 hits, 13 home runs, 37 RBIs, 14 doubles and 39 runs scored over 47 games. He ranked fifth in NL Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Bell is looking to bounce back from a down 2020 season in which he hit .226 with eight home runs in 57 games compared to .277 with 37 homers over 143 games as an All-Star in ‘19. The Nationals landed the switch-hitting Bell from the Pirates to be their starting first baseman in exchange for pitching prospects Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean.

The Nats avoided arbitration with right-hander Joe Ross when they agreed to a $1.5 million salary in December.

Had the Nationals been unable to reach a deal with any of their arbitration-eligible players by Friday's deadline, both sides would have swapped salary figures for the 2021 season ahead of a hearing scheduled for February, with a panel of three arbitrators hearing the case if a settlement hadn't been reached by that date. The panel then would choose the salary figure of the team or the player.

Jessica Camerato covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @jessicacamerato, Facebook and Instagram.