GM Mike Rizzo says Nationals aren’t trading Juan Soto

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Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo on Wednesday said the team won’t trade star outfielder Juan Soto, comments that came amid recent trade speculation. He addressed the matter during an appearance on The Junkies on 106.7 the Fan.

“We are not trading Juan Soto,” Rizzo said. “We made it clear to his agent and to the player. I understand these journalists, they’ve got to fill a blank sheet of paper every day. It’s a good thing to get some attention on a story but we have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto.”

Rizzo said he’s had many conversations with Soto and his agent, Scott Boras, including during the last homestand, when Boras visited Washington, and has made it clear the Nationals (18-33) have no intention of trading Soto.

Soto will hit free agency after the 2024 season. Ahead of the MLB lockout this past offseason, Washington made him a 13-year, $350 million offer, which Soto declined.

Soto was batting .232 this season, with nine home runs and 42 walks headed into Wednesday afternoon’s game against the New York Mets. He’s won two Silver Slugger awards and was the National League batting champion in a shortened 2020 season.

“He’s got barrel recognition. He’s got pitch recognition. He’s got the power, the quickness, the bat speed, the balance. He’s got the whole hitting package,” Rizzo said. “He’s as good as anybody that’s ever played the game. He’s as good as anybody in the league. And he’s a National and we’re proud of that.”

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