NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres takes batting practice before the game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 11, 2023 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Mets 'Fully Intend' to Fight for Potential $500 Million Free Agent

The New York Mets have done quite a bit of work to their roster ahead of the 2024 season. However, the moves they've made haven't been ones that grab headlines as they did the past couple of offseasons. Is it because they're saving their pennies for New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto?

That's what ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting. He visited New York's spring training complex at Port St. Lucie, Florida, earlier this week and said the Mets "fully intend" to pursue the left-handed slugger once he hits free agency in November.

It's easy to see what kind of value Soto would bring to the Mets' lineup. Despite being just 25 years old, he's already been named to three All-Star Games and has won a batting title, four Silver Slugger awards and a World Series. With all of these accolades at such a young age, he can also expect to be handsomely compensated for his services. That's exactly what agent Scott Boras is looking forward to.

Before Soto was traded to the San Diego Padres at the 2022 MLB trade deadline, the Washington Nationals offered him a 15-year, $440 million contract extension. That was rejected; and although the outfielder thought he'd spend his entire career in D.C., the Nats shipped him to the West Coast shortly thereafter. He's now primed to be baseball's next $500 million player. The Athletic's Tim Britton recently projected his next contract to be 14 years for $540 million.

One would imagine the Bombers will do whatever is necessary to keep him in pinstripes for the long haul. That won't come without a fight from the Mets, though. SNY's Andy Martino reported on Feb. 18 that a Soto bidding war between both New York teams was already brewing.

The Mets will have their own slugger, first baseman Pete Alonso, reach free agency at season's end. Will New York prioritize Soto over Alonso? There's a sense around the game that team owner Steve Cohen would greenlight a pursuit of both, which could likely cost him more than $700 million. It helps that Boras represents both players.

So, the Amazins might've had a mostly quiet winter, but next offseason is looking as if it'll be full of high-profile pursuits.

MORE: Yankees' Juan Soto Makes Surprising Admission About His Old Team