- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Elian Soto, the 16-year-old younger brother of Juan Soto, is expected to sign with the Washington Nationals as an international free agent, according to multiple reports.

The prospect from the Dominican Republic isn’t able to sign the deal until January 2023, unless upcoming changes to Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement alter the rules for international free agents. Byron Kerr of 106.7 The Fan first reported the news.

Elian Soto, a left-handed hitter who isn’t regarded as a top international prospect, originally was reported to be signing with the Mets, but as of now, it looks as if he will be joining his MVP runner-up brother in the Nationals organization next year.

This could pose as good news for the Nationals’ chances to sign the elder Soto to a long-term contract.

Juan Soto, 23, has been one of the league’s top players since his rookie season in 2018. In 2021, he finished second in MVP voting behind Bryce Harper after hitting .313 with 29 home runs and leading the league with 145 walks.

If they want to keep him, the Nationals will still have to pay big money to Juan Soto, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season. However, it can’t hurt if his younger brother is also in the organization. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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