Nationals will not trade Juan Soto, GM says: ‘Every intention of building this team around’ star outfielder

To listen to Washington Nationals common supervisor Mike Rizzo inform it, All-Star outfielder Juan Soto is not going anyplace. Rizzo throughout a current look on the Sports activities Junkies present on 106.7 FM The Fan in D.C. acknowledged in plain phrases that, regardless of rampant hypothesis on the contrary, the 23-year-old Soto is not going to be traded this summer season.

“We’re not buying and selling Juan Soto. We have made it clear to his agent and to the participant,” Rizzo stated. “…Now we have each intention of constructing this workforce round Juan Soto. We have spoken to his agent many, many occasions — not too long ago sat with him when he was in Washington D.C., made it clear to him that we aren’t all in favour of buying and selling him, and I assume the remainder of the world simply does not imagine it. However that is our place.”

Whereas comparable pledges from different MLB decision-makers have turned out to precede trades — and if you wish to take into account the “each intention” comment as a possible loophole, then you’ll be able to — Rizzo actually sounds emphatic. As Nats GM he additionally has a longtime historical past of resisting the urge to undertake an entire roster teardown. 

No, the last-place Nationals usually are not in a great place proper, as they’re on tempo for 105 losses, however that does not essentially imply a Soto commerce is in play. As famous, he is nonetheless simply 23, and he determine to stay a frontline producer on the plate for years to come back. As Rizzo suggests, that is the form of participant you utilize as a basis, not as a method to acquire a haul of prospects who nearly actually will not change into half as worthwhile as Soto. 

Talking of Soto, the physique of labor is unassailable. Throughout components of 5 MLB seasons, he boasts a slash line of .294/.426/.539 (158 OPS+) with 107 house runs and, remarkably for a hitter of his energy colleges, extra walks (415) than strikeouts (384). He hasn’t produced at a customary stage in 2022 to date. Nevertheless, he is nonetheless been wonderful (141 OPS+), and his underlying indicators recommend he is been the sufferer of unhealthy luck on the plate. 

Soto is not eligible totally free company till after the 2024 season, which leaves loads of time to work out an extension with the Nationals. No matter what his future is, whether or not it is a mutual dedication to stay in Washington or departure through commerce or free company, Soto’s subsequent contract will nearly actually be the most important in MLB historical past. If Rizzo’s to be taken at his phrase, then the Nats are prepared to pay these going charges. 

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