Nationals GM Mike Rizzo tried to placate fans with an explanation of the Juan Soto trade but he probably only pissed them off more.
Mike Rizzo has a lot of explaining to do in Washington right now.
He just traded away superstar Juan Soto for a package of prospects that may or may not pan out.
And Nationals fans aren’t exactly thrilled about it.
The general manager appeared on The Sports Junkies show on Audacy’s 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, sharing his side of how it all went down.
Juan Soto trade: Mike Rizzo’s explanation will only anger Nationals fans
It all comes down to blaming Soto and his agent, Scott Boras, for the way things turned out.
“The agent has a history of taking most or all of their superstar players to free agency. Just the tenor and tone of conversations led us to believe [he wouldn’t sign],” Rizzo said. “We made three offers in the last year to Juan and none of them were countered and there was not much discussion beside ‘no we’re not going to take that offer.’ It’s what I kind of read into it.”
The question fans might ask Rizzo is exactly what those three offers entailed. They don’t count as a true attempt to keep Soto if they were lowball, as many suspect.
What’s most frustrating is that Rizzo and the Nationals seemed to just give up on a talent like Soto because they assume others will come down the line.
“You can’t forget that Anthony and Trea and Max and Harper, all these guys, they were the [C.J.] Abrams and the [Robert] Hassell’s and the [James] Wood’s of the world before they became superstars. That’s what I would tell our fans,” Rizzo said. “We put ourselves in the position to have sustained success.”
The problem is Soto was supposed to be the one to transition the team into their new era. Letting him go at just 23 years old means a full-blown reset with a bunch of prospects who aren’t much younger than Soto himself.