The Nationals are in the early stages of embarking on an important offseason. Following the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Washington saw several key contributors hit free agency before declining options on several others. The result is a Nationals roster in need of some patchwork, and Juan Soto has a few ideas for how they might fix that up.
Soto has posted and commented on Instagram several times this winter expressing his interest in the Nationals signing some of the top free agents available on the market.
NBC Sports Washington’s Nick Ashooh, a vocal advocate for Trevor Bauer to play with D.C., talked with Nationals Insider Todd Dybas and Chase Hughes on the Nationals Talk podcast about Soto’s “recruiting” so far this offseason.
“Juan Soto is out there maybe doing just a little bit of recruiting,” Ashooh said. “We live in a world now where cryptic tweets and Instagram posts are just the norm. We read into it, we can over-read into it, whatever the case. I prefer to over-exaggerate the way things are read into it as much as possible because if it involves Juan Soto trying to recruit Trevor Bauer, I’m all in.”
While Dybas and Hughes were skeptical Soto’s comments were going to be enough to sway any free agents Washington’s way, Hughes liked the way Soto was stumping for his organization.
“I don’t think his recruitment will have much bearing on that specifically but I do like his style in doing this,” Hughes said. “This is something I feel like we see more often in the NBA than other sports…and Juan Soto, if you did have a player on your team and you wanted that guy to make a pitch to someone, he could probably make a pretty good one just because he’s so fun to watch. It seems like he’d be a fun player to play with so if I were a Major League Baseball player and Juan Soto came calling, I’d probably listen because I want to join what he’s building.”
Soto is still only 22 years old and has four years left on his rookie deal with the Nationals. As he gets older and his legend continues to grow, it’s not out of the question for his role as an ambassador for the team starting to develop as well.