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#pounditWednesday, December 1, 2021

Juan Soto hesitant to sign long-term deal with Nationals?

Juan Soto

Juan Soto is a definitely a keeper, but he may not be so sure that the same is true of the Washington Nationals.

At a news conference Wednesday amid MLB’s general managers’ meetings, Soto’s agent Scott Boras caused speculation about the young slugger’s future by indicating that Soto is hesitant to sign a long-term deal with the Nats.

“Juan Soto wants to win,” said Boras, per SportsNet New York. “The first thing that’s gonna have to happen is that he knows he’s working with an ownership that’s gonna annually try to compete and win. I think once he knows that, he’ll be ready to sit and talk whenever they choose to talk … I just know that Juan has mentioned to me that he wants to make sure he’s working for a club that’s going to compete annually.”

In response to Boras’ comments, Washington GM Mike Rizzo said the Nats want Soto around long-term, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Rizzo added that the proof of how competitive they are is the last ten years.

The 23-year-old Soto, who is under club control through 2024, made his first career All-Star team last season. He led the Nats in home runs (29) and RBIs (95) and also led the entire league in walks (145) and OBP (.465).

Soto already won a ring with the Nats in 2019. But it is fair to question the team’s continued commitment to winning after they sold off the likes of Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and Brad Hand last season.

Rizzo has a point in that the Nats have been in consistent contention for the past decade. Sometimes, teams just have to hit the reset button and start anew. But Soto already caused a stir about his future in recent months. Nats fans probably won’t like what Boras had to say on Wednesday on top of it.

Photo: 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

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