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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

Braves had good reason for snubbing Juan Soto travel request

Juan Soto in a Nats hat

Jul 30, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) in the dugout before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves had to snub Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto over All-Star Game travel arrangements, but they apparently did so for a good reason.

The Nationals asked the Atlanta Braves if Soto and Nationals manager Dave Martinez could fly on their team plane to the All-Star Game, as the two teams had played each other before the break. The Braves told the Nationals they did not have the available space, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, but they also wanted to avoid allegations of unfair influence with Soto in trade rumors.

The Soto plane drama has become notable amid the trade rumors that have erupted around the star outfielder in the last week. Soto’s agent was critical of the Nationals for making Soto fly commercial to Los Angeles instead of chartering him a plane.

Obviously, there was no avoiding the fact that Soto was going to be subjected to some recruiting efforts during All-Star week. The Braves probably would have been excused for accepting the Nationals’ request too, especially if Washington was comfortable letting him go. Ultimately, they took a justifiable action to protect themselves from conspiracy theories.

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