‘Future Dodger?’ In his return to L.A., followers clear in want for Juan Soto.


LOS ANGELES — Juan Soto slowly peeked over his shoulder Monday, maybe not sure of how many individuals he’d discover within the small guests’ clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. When he noticed a pack closing in — largely unfamiliar reporters who cowl the Dodgers — Soto grinned and advised Josh Bell they had been searching for him. Then he stood, put his pink had on backward and nodded to the group, letting them know he was prepared for questions.

Then he confirmed simply how prepared he was.

Simply as in the course of the all-star break right here, the assembled media sought to get Soto to say one thing, something, about doubtlessly being traded to the Dodgers. However the 23-year-old had different plans earlier than Monday’s collection opener.

Did coming to Chavez Ravine make him take into consideration taking part in for the first-place Dodgers? “Under no circumstances. I take into consideration my Home Run Derby championship, my award, I’m comfortable to have it right here.”

Was he stunned followers chanted “Future Dodger” to him in the course of the All-Star Recreation final week? “Clearly, I used to be actually stunned. However I used to be extra stunned to play middle discipline that day.”

Have large moments prior to now — his big homer off Clayton Kershaw in Recreation 5 of the Nationwide League Division Collection in 2019, his current Dwelling Run Derby win — made this really feel like a second residence? “Under no circumstances. I benefit from the moments not solely right here. I get pleasure from it each time at each stadium I am going.”

Does he just like the West Coast? “It’s actually removed from residence.”

Did Trea Turner try to recruit him in the course of the all-star festivities? “I attempted to recruit him!”

To Washington? “Yeah, why not? He’s comfortable the place he’s at however I actually tried to do my greatest to get him again.”

For actual although, would Soto be excited to hitch the Dodgers? “I by no means give it some thought as a result of I by no means see myself in any of that. I’ve at all times been loyal to the Nationals, I’ve at all times been there for them. In all places I’m going, they attempt to pull me out of my workforce.”

Certainly they do. That’s what occurs when one of many sport’s greatest gamers apparently is on the buying and selling block. Seeing that the Arizona Diamondbacks usually are not anticipated to pursue Soto, he didn’t obtain this consideration in Phoenix over the weekend. However in Los Angeles, the place the native membership dealt for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner final summer season, Soto was the undisputed focus.

There was a giant cheer — from the house crowd — when Soto was introduced throughout pregame introductions. At first of his first at-bat towards Tony Gonsolin, these followers yelled “Future Dodger!” some extra. The deadline is 6 p.m. on Aug. 2. By then, Soto will know if he’s heading elsewhere or sticking with the workforce he signed with at 16 out of the Dominican Republic. And within the thick of a lot uncertainty, of the fixed questions on his speedy future, he appears excited for that day.

“It’s been a tricky week,” Soto mentioned. “And to get to see if I’m going to remain there or if I’m going, it’s going to actually flush my thoughts.”

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