Such was the strength of the public opinion, that this Wednesday the general manager of the Washington Nationals, Mike Rizzo, stepped forward: on the Sports Junkies program of 106.7 The Fan’s, he emphasized that there is no plan to leave the services of the star gardener.
“We are not trading Juan Soto. We’ve made it clear to his agent and to the player. We have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto.”Mike Rizzo on his intentions with Juan Soto
Rizzo added that he has spoken directly with Juan Soto and his agent and has told them that there is no intention of transferring him from another team.
“We’ve spoken to his agent many, many times — recently sat with him when he was in Washington D.C., made it clear to him that we are not interested in trading him, and I guess the rest of the world just doesn’t believe it.”Mike Rizzo on his conversations with Soto’s agent
The rumors about a possible departure of Soto come after confirming the dismal performance expected from the Nationals this season and the assumptions of a great contract with the Latino, who during the preseason rejected an offer for 13 seasons and 350 million dollars.
Money that, for many, Washington could invest in rebuilding the team and adding it to the good pieces that it will surely get on the market for Soto. In addition, if he has already rejected an offer for 350 million dollars, everyone wonders how much more he would want to ask the organization.
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old will earn $17.1 million this season after avoiding arbitration with the team and won’t be a free agent until the 2025 season.
Juan Soto off to a Slow Start to the Season for the Nationals and Mike Rizzo
If Juan Soto wants to win over the Washington Nationals or another team to become the first player in history with a $500 million contract, his numbers from this start of the season are not the best to do so.
The Dominican has struggled to get his rhythm in the batter’s box, even though his keen eye for pitch selection remains intact, as he leads the major leagues with 42 walks received.
However, according to ESPN.com, Soto projects to finish the season with 102 strikeouts, a figure that would mark the second highest in the outfielder’s career. Besides, it is something that speaks to his problems making contact in these first two months of the season.
After 51 commitments, he recorded nine home runs, with 16 RBIs, and a dismal average of .232, if we take into account that in the last two seasons he finished over .300, including the .351 of 2020 that established him as the bat leader in the National League.