Juan Soto is one of the biggest stories in MLB right now. He turned down a massive contract from the Washington Nationals and then went to the All-Star Game and won the Home Run Derby, reminding everyone that yeah, he's young and awesome and probably worth more than a half a billion dollars to a functioning professional baseball team. And then it was revealed that Soto had to fly commercial to the All-Star Game which is apparently outrageous. Just ask his agent.
Via Sports Illustrated:
“We want all of our discussions to be private. We now know they're not. And so I'm sure Juan will take that under advisement as he goes forward.” He added, “All I know here is that the and Juan Soto played a game yesterday. The Atlanta Braves arrived here five hours earlier than Juan Soto did. You know why? Because their team chartered a plane. Juan Soto had to fly on a commercial flight and wait in an airport for two hours and get here at 1:30 in the morning and have to compete in the Home Run Derby. And that’s something that Major League Baseball did not take care of and that’s something that the Washington Nationals did not take care of.”
Five hours! Can you imagine?
There's something funny about Boras, whose job is ostensibly to take care of Juan Soto in exchange for a percentage of his earnings, calling out Major League Baseball and the Nationals for making Soto fly commercial.
A first class flight on United from Washington to Los Angeles this Sunday night is $688. That comes with a standard reclining seat, free Wi-Fi and a power outlet. I know that sounds like a hardship, but Boras probably could have found a private jet to fly one person across the country in the middle of an environmental crisis with high fuel costs.
Look, the Nationals were being petty when they didn't fly Soto out to LA for the All-Star Game, but Soto is also making $17.1 million this year on the verge of signing a contract worth a half-billion dollars. I'm not saying the Nationals were right, but this is not the biggest inconvenience in the world. Just two years ago Boras boasted about arranging private jets for clients who got traded so that they wouldn't have issues with COVID protocols.
Shouldn't Soto's travel plans have been locked down when it was announced he would be an All-Star? And what does it matter if he got to Los Angeles after 1 a.m. when the Derby didn't start until 5 p.m. Do big league baseball players not do this regularly? It obviously didn't affect him if he won the competition.
The point is, no one is right here. Soto and Boras are dorks for complaining about it and the Nationals are cheap and/or petty for not getting him a jet. In the end it's a millionaire and few billionaires feuding over one flight. Everyone just needs to be quiet.