Mike Rizzo says he plans to talk to Soto, Turner about extensions originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Juan Soto and Trea Turner are not only the two best position players on the Washington Nationals, but they’re also two of the best players in baseball.
Both have played key roles for the Nats in recent years, especially during their World Series run. They are two of the most popular players in Washington, unsurprisingly, and fans are hoping they’ll stick around for their entire careers, if possible.
According to the man who helps make those sorts of decisions, the Nats are also keen on keeping Soto and Turner around for a while.
“They’re both our kind of players, both homegrown guys, and you know we got Turner in a trade but he was a 21-year-old player that came through our system quickly and been a great player for us” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan on Friday. “And Juan, I scouted Juan when he was 15 years old, got him to the big leagues before he was 19. So these guys are near and dear to our hearts.”
It’s no surprise the Nats are so fond of these two. Soto has established himself as arguably the best left-handed hitter in baseball, leading the National League in batting average last season and all of MLB in on-base percentage and slugging. He’s still just 22-years old, by the way.
Trea Turner, meanwhile, is one of the better shortstops in baseball. When healthy, he’s been one of baseball’s best players period, averaging 20 home runs, 50 stolen bases and nearly a .300 batting average per 162 games. And he’s still only 27.
While the Nationals have mostly been an aggressive organization when it comes to adding talent in free agency, they haven’t always been as successful in keeping homegrown talent in Washington.
Both Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon were drafted in the first round by the Nats and both signed elsewhere to big paydays in free agency. Rizzo sees those examples as simple – the Phillies and Angels offered more money. But it’s still not a pattern he hopes to see continue with the team’s two current superstars.
“We’re not dumb,” Rizzo said. “We know what kind of players they are, we know we’d like to keep all of them. But you can’t. But these two guys are special and they’re guys that you want to build around, and we’re certainly going to make an attempt to do so.”
Simply making an attempt to extend both players isn’t exactly music to the ears of Nats fans, who would almost assuredly prefer to see Soto and Turner put pen to paper. Both are beloved in the city and are essential to the team’s success.