SAN DIEGO (AP)All-Star outfielder Juan Soto agreed to a $23 million, one-year contract with the San Diego Padres on Friday, a raise from his $17.1 million salary last season.
San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.
The 24-year-old Soto hit .242 with 27 homers, 62 RBIs and a major league-leading 135 walks for Washington and San Diego, which acquired the 2020 NL batting champion from the Nationals in a blockbuster trade on Aug. 2.
The two-time All-Star and winner of last year’s Home Run Derby hit .236 with six homers and 16 RBIs in 52 games for the Padres. San Diego reached the playoffs and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series before losing to Philadelphia in the NL Championship Series.
Soto is eligible for salary arbitration again after next season and can become a free agent following the 2024 World Series. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2020 season as a so-called Super 2 – players with more than two but fewer than three years of arbitration – and had an $8.5 million contract in 2021.
Hader, a hard-throwing 28-year-old left-hander, was obtained from Milwaukee on Aug. 1 and went 1-1 with a 7.31 ERA and seven saves for San Diego. He finished 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA and 29 saves overall last year, when he had an $11 million salary.
A four-time All-Star with Milwaukee, Hader has 132 saves in six big league seasons. He is eligible for free agency after this year’s World Series.
San Diego also agreed to one-year contracts with all five other players who were eligible for arbitration: All-Star infielder Jake Cronenworth ($4,225,000), center fielder Trent Grisham ($3,175,000), catcher Austin Nola ($2.35 million) and left-handers Tim Hill ($1.85 million) and Adrian Morejon ($800,000).
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