Ken Rosenthal Credit: Foul Territory

One thing that hasn’t changed about Major League Baseball is outsized contracts for superstar hitters. This week, Fox Sports MLB insider Ken Rosenthal predicted the next young slugger to hit free agency will get a bigger total payday than the legendary Shohei Ohtani.

That’s right, Rosenthal believes New York Yankees star Juan Soto will get more present-day money than the $460 million Ohtani got from the Los Angeles Dodgers last offseason.

Ohtani’s total contract will get him upwards of $700 million paid out over decades. But Rosenthal said Tuesday on Foul Territory that he believes Soto is in position to outdo the nearly half a billion Ohtani got in present-day guarantees.

“I will bet you right now that he gets more than that,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal reported the Yankees would make a sizable offer, while the New York Mets will also finally have newfound payroll flexibility after a disastrous 2022 offseason. Rosenthal indicated other MLB clubs could pursue Soto as well.

“It’s Juan Soto, he’s going to be 26 next season as a free agent going into the market, he is going to do really well,” Rosenthal added. “He turned down $440 (million) for 15 (years). He’s going to do better than that, and he’s going to do better than Ohtani’s present-day value.”

Soto was already traded twice since turning down that offer from the Washington Nationals in 2022. But he is off to a fast start in the Bronx, with a .991 OPS and 1.3 WAR in 23 games.

Of course, there’s an off chance this just another chapter in Rosenthal trolling the San Diego Padres. The Padres had to give Soto up in part due to the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports, which broadcast their games until last year and just settled with the Padres for a fraction of what they owed the team.

Playing well in a big market could get Soto a record-breaking payday, if Rosenthal’s speculation here proves correct.

[Foul Territory on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.