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San Diego Padres sign Juan Soto & Josh Hader to one-year deals for 2023

Outfielder Juan Soto, closing pitcher Josh Hader and 5 others players have agreed to one-contracts with the Padres, avoiding arbitration.
Credit: AP
San Diego Padres' Juan Soto watches his double hit during the first inning in Game 3 of a baseball NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

SAN DIEGO — 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 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 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 was 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 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.

According to Padres.com, the team also reached agreements with All-Star infielder Jake Cronenworth ($4.225 million), center fielder Trent Grisham ($3.175 million), catcher Austin Nola ($2.35 million), left-handed reliever Tim Hill ($1.85 million) and lefty rotation candidate Adrian Morejon ($800,000).

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