Juan Soto Appreciates Dodgers Fans, But Maintaining Focus On Nationals

Juan Soto trade rumors have dominated the sport since it was reported the Washington Nationals would likely entertain offers after he declined a 15-year, $440 million contract extension.

For all the star power Soto possesses, he much preferred for contract negotiations to remain private. His declining their offer was made public during 2022 All-Star Week Los Angeles, leaving Soto to answer questions ahead of participating in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.

“It’s been crazy,” was how Soto described the past week. “I mean, things that I never thought were going to happen to me. So first time going through it, it’s been pretty tough.”

Soto spoke with media prior to the series opener at Dodger Stadium, where Dodgers fans again put their best foot forward in recruiting. That he would be cheered throughout the night was to be expected as it was only one week ago fans in the pavilion chanted “Future Dodger” during the All-Star Game.

“It sounds pretty fun,” Soto said of the chanting. “But at the end of the day I’m glad they cheered for me. I don’t mind whatever they say if they say something good. I’m just enjoying it. Obviously I was really surprised, but I was more surprised to play center field.”

Now one week away from the MLB trade deadline on Aug. 2, the 2022 Home Run Derby champion is eager to gain some clarity on this season.

“I said it before, it’s been a pretty tough week. To get to see if I’m going to stay here or going, it’s going to be flushed from my mind,” Soto admitted.

He nevertheless is committed to being with the Nationals — for however long that winds up being — and has not entertained a potential Dodgers trade or playing for a different team.

“Like I said, I never think about it because I’ve never seen myself in any of that. I’ve always been loyal to the Nationals, I’ve always been there for them,” Soto said.

“You see everywhere I’m going, they try to pull me out of my team. Just keep in touch with the National because that’s where I am right now and that’s where I’m going to be loyal until they don’t want me anymore.”

Juan Soto recruited Trea Turner

Despite his future with the Nationals being on shaky ground, Soto attempted to pitch Trea Turner on a return while the two were together for the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.

“I tried to recruit him,” answered Soto when asked if Turner did any lobbying on behalf of the Dodgers. “He’s happy where he’s at, but I really tried my best to get him back.”

Turner previously said he would love to be teammates with Soto once again.

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