Sources: Elián Soto turns down Mets for brother Juan Soto's Nationals

Elián Soto, the younger brother of Juan Soto, verbally agreed to join his brother’s Washington Nationals just days after declaring his intentions to sign with the New York Mets, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Elián Soto, a 16-year-old outfielder and third baseman, would not be eligible to formally sign until next year’s international free agent class in January 2023. The younger Soto posted an Instagram video of himself working out with the full squad. from the Mets on December 31 and reportedly received a $50,000 bonus, but has since changed course.

Soto’s decision was first reported by the Washington City Paper.

The Nationals’ offer is believed to be higher. The discrepancy in money and a greater familiarity with the Nats’ minor league system, as opposed to a Mets system seemingly in transition under new general manager Billy Eppler, were the main factors in Soto’s decision, said a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

The presence of Juan Soto, a 23-year-old superstar who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, certainly didn’t hurt either.

Elián Soto, a left-handed hitter, isn’t considered a premium international prospect, but he’s still young enough to become one. Amateur players and their coaches in the Dominican Republic often make handshake deals with teams long before they are old enough to officially sign a contract, allowing them to train intermittently at team facilities and avoiding presented to evaluators from other organizations.

There seems to be a strong possibility that an international draft will be included in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is still being negotiated between owners and players. But current international signing rules could remain in place next year to give teams and prospects more time to acclimate.

Elián Soto, like his brother, is represented by the Boras Corporation, and adding him could play in the Nationals’ favor when it comes to extending Juan Soto, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 season under the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was in force.