Nationals All-Star outfielder Juan Soto has been mentioned in several speculations surrounding this year’s trade deadline.
However, Washington general manager Mike Rizzo couldn’t have been clearer Wednesday about the team’s intentions to keep the Dominican in their ranks.
“We will not change Juan Soto,” Rizzo said on local radio station 107.7 The Fan. “We have made it clear to the player and his agent. I understand that journalists have to fill out a paper every day. It’s nice to draw attention to a story, but we have every intention of building a team around Juan Soto. We’ve talked to his agent many times. We recently sat down with him when he was in Washington, D.C. And we made it clear that we’re not interested in changing it. But the rest of the world doesn’t seem to believe us. That is our position.”
Soto could be a free agent after the 2024 season, and ESPN’s Buster Onley reported in May that Washington has tried to reach a deal for a contract extension with the 23-year-old star, but they haven’t been able to reach a middle ground. That has led several MLB executives to begin speculating about the slugger’s future.
The Nationals won the 2019 World Series, but the club is currently in the midst of a rebuild that began last year, when they traded Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Josh Harrison, Yan Gomes and Brad Hand.
Washington has entered this season with a record of 18-33, ranking last in the NL East.