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News that Washington Nationals star Juan Soto has turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract with the organization has taken hold. the world of baseball by storm as one of the best young talents in the game would now be available.
Along with news of the bid being rejected, The Athletic reported that the Nationals will now at least receive commercial offers for the double All-Star.
On Wednesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo appeared on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC, and confirmed that Soto had in fact turned down the Nationals’ offer of nearly half a billion dollars over 15 years.
“We’ve made three, what we think, three above-market-value offers to Juan this baseball season,” Rizzo said. “Sport Addicts” Wednesday. “Two of them were out before this one. Both were inaccurate in the terms and in the genre of the contract. This one was accurate, and that led us to believe it was someone who had obviously real situational awareness, where others were inaccurate, so that information could be leaked by people who really don’t know or guess or think they have the information.”
NATIONALS SNAP DODGERS 11-GAME-WIN STREKE AS JUAN SOTO TRADE RUMORS HEAT UP
While Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan that he would like to know who leaked Soto’s contract offer and subsequent refusal, he made his respect for Soto clear on Wednesday.
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“It was the ultimate respectful interaction with Juan,” Rizzo said. “We’ve made several offers to him. We’ve made sure he knows we want him here for the rest of his career. It’s business. It’s not personal. It’s business. He has the right to go to free agency, turn down offers and that sort of thing.”
NATIONALS’ ASKING PRICE FOR JUAN SOTO WILL BE SET AS TRADE DEADLINE APPEARS
“I respect that as a player that he’s earned that right. But my relationship with the players is nothing if not we’re man to man and we discuss things face to face. And when we offered this contract to Juan with the knowledge of his agent, we told him when the deal was turned down, we said, ‘We’re going to have to explore all of our options.’ And that’s all we said.”
The Nationals control Soto for two years after the end of the 2022 season, so an immediate exchange is not a requirement. The Major League Baseball trade deadline is August 2.
“Again, am I mad at Juan Soto for doing this? No. I’ve known the kid since he was 15,” Rizzo said Wednesday. “I know him as well as anyone in the world, as well as his agency, as well as his teammates. I’ve been with him for a long time, and he’s one of the most wonderful players I’ve ever had. never been around, and I respect the choices he made. Again, it’s not personal against Mike Rizzo or the Washington Nationals. It’s business.”
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Washington would ask for four or five top young prospects in exchange for Soto.