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Nationals GM Sends Clear Message About Juan Soto

Juan Soto hits a home run against the Mets.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 09: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals hits a 2-run home run to right field in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 09, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Nationals president and GM Mike Rizzo staked his claim Wednesday: Washington will not be trading superstar outfielder Juan Soto.

During a morning radio appearance on 106.7 "The Fan," Rizzo put the baseball world on notice that Soto's long-term future resides in the nation's capital.

We are not trading Juan Soto. We made it clear to his agent and to the player. ... We have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto, and we've spoken to his agent many, many times. We recently sat with him when he was in Washington, DC, and made it clear to him that we're not interested in trading him. ... I guess the rest of the world doesn't believe it, but that's our position.

The 23-year-old All-Star is set to hit free agency in two offseasons. According to Soto himself, he turned down a 13-year, $350 million offer from the Nationals during the lockout.

With Washington once again struggling out of the gates, some have speculated that Soto could be dealt as a way to kickstart the team's rebuild.

However, Rizzo sees the former NL batting champ as the centerpiece of the organization for years to come.

The left-handed slugger is also undergoing a slow start of his own in 2022. 

Through 51 games, Juan Soto is batting just .232 with nine home runs and 16 RBIs. But, he's managed to keep his on-base percentage high thanks to his league-leading 42 walks.