Mike Rizzo discusses possible Juan Soto deal


As Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals general manager and chief of baseball operations, appeared on The Junkies at 106.7 The Fan Wednesday morning, he did so with the baseball world listening more closely than usual.

Less than a week from now, the trade deadline will come and go and the Rizzo’s Nationals will have replaced the talent of a 23-year-old Jill or not, they will have rocked the baseball world or not. Each word could provide a clue, some sort of indication of the way he and the citizens would go.

And while Rizzo carefully avoided making such speculation, he made it clear that one line of Soto’s business speculation – that citizens might use the Soto deal to try to offload big contracts, like that of bowler Patrick Corbin, was not part of the company. plans.

“We never called any team and talked about Juan Soto and attaching any contract to any player. We will not dilute any player’s return by adding a bad contract. That is not where we are in our organization at this time,” said Rizzo. So we certainly wouldn’t deal with anyone’s contract in anyone’s deal including Juan Soto or Josh Bell or anyone else.”

Why does the name Patrick Corbyn come up in Juan Soto’s business speculation?

If the Citizens stick to this line, it means that the interested parties will need to gather several big prospects or the league’s willing youngsters to pull Soto from Washington, and they will not be able to mitigate the potential loss once the money is handed over. Very few teams, if any, have enough excess of potential and young big linkers to strike a deal like that. And for those who might not feel the need to do so at the moment, especially if a new ownership group makes Soto available again this winter.

“We are in talks with Juan Soto with several teams that I think have a real interest in him,” said Rizzo, who refrained from hindering the star midfielder’s trade prospects.

“I will say this: We will have to get the deal we want which makes the most sense and which gives us a chance to become a championship organization instead of not trading it,” Rizzo said. “That’s it in a nutshell.”

Soto’s center of attention at this year’s trade deadline is in large part the result of a now-infamous leak: A week and a half ago, Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Soto rejected what would have been the most secured money. In the history of the league, $440 million over 15 years, so the citizens will have to consider trading it.

Speculation flew over the source of the leak, with Soto visibly upset after the information became public. Did the citizens leak the details to indicate that Soto was available and to make it clear that they really tried to sign him?

“Leaks are so hard. In the age of social media, who knows where some of these things are coming from. All I can say unequivocally is that it definitely didn’t come from me, 100 percent for sure, or from our front office,” Rizzo said. A lot for sure.” We had this information three weeks before it was leaked. We had plenty of time to leak it if we wanted to leak it. Leaks never help the situation. It was a disappointment to me.”

Juan Soto was surprised that the Nats might trade him. Tria Turner knows that feeling.

Rizzo, who told the Junkies in June that citizens would not trade with Soto, went on to add that now public information about the negotiations caused problems for Washington in the aftermath.

“It didn’t help us with anything we were trying to do. It didn’t help us maintain a good relationship with Joanne, and it didn’t help us with any kind of leverage on the trade deadline,” Rizzo said. It hurt us that the details came out.”

The source is still unclear. The Post confirmed details of the discussions, and Soto said he was disappointed they came out, suggesting he wouldn’t have directed anyone in his camp to publish them. Ahead of the All-Star game in Los Angeles, he answered questions about his future with his agent, Scott Borras, at his side, and his Home Run Derby title was overshadowed by the idea that the Nationals might consider an almost unprecedented deal for him. He suggested that he did not know what to trust in the organization, because the situation had changed dramatically.

“Knowing his agent, we told him, when the deal was rejected, we said ‘we’ll have to explore all our options.’ And that’s absolutely all we said,” Rizzo said. “I wouldn’t do my job if I didn’t explore all the options that are presented to us now. We have a very good choice: we have a talented Juan Soto for two and a half seasons. This option A, this is a good choice. But we also have to think about options B and C.”

“My job is to make this organization a standout winner again, as we did from 2012 to 2019, to be a consistent winner,” Rizzo added. “I have to figure out ways as the steward of this franchise to make us a championship organization for a long time to come.”

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