If you were viewing the Juan Soto situation in a vacuum, then it certainly might seem crazy to pay any one player upwards of $600 million.
But Danny Rouhier reminds us that it's impossible not to view this in the context of a Nationals organization which has let all of its superstar position players walk out the door. Even with the news that Soto's agent Scott Boras may be pushing for a baseline of $43.33 million per year in Soto's next contract.
"The big takeaway for this is you can't just have this in a vacuum," Rouhier said Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan. "It's always going to be in the context of the Nationals didn't pay anybody else."
"I know they paid Strasburg, that's blown up in their face," he continued. "If Strasburg was pitching like an ace still right now this minute, maybe our view of this would all be different honestly, but he's not. He's thrown 30 innings in three years. Not pitching the rest of this year. Who knows what his future is. It looks bleak, to be honest with you.
"So maybe our viewpoint on this would change if he was still conducting business and kicking ass and we'd feel a little bit better about it: Well, they paid somebody. The World Series hero. The World Series MVP. The guy's still every fifth day worth the price of admission throwing changeups at people."
"But now they've got nothing to show for it. Nothing," Rouhier said. "And I don't know where that's going to change. You've let go these four excellent, amazing superstar position players and this is the best of all of them. You had Mr. Generational in Bryce Harper, who's already won an MVP. He's gonna win more, probably. Would have won it this year, probably, if he hadn't broken his thumb. You've got a guy who's gonna compete at the highest levels, who's best player comps are dudes like Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Ted Williams and on down the line.
"They don't make those guys, and he was here, and you let him go. You let Trea Turner go. You let Rendon go (although that worked out). You let Harper go. So on. It's hard not to look at it in that context. But this one specifically, without looking towards the past, I understand not wanting to go to $600 million for any player, even one as good as this."