Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto made headlines last month when it was reported that he declined a blockbuster 13-year, $350 million extension offer from the team ahead of the lockout. The one-time All-Star did note to ESPN that he aspires to stay put with the Nationals for the remainder of his career, and now, general manager Mike Rizzo is still aiming to sign the talent to a notable deal.

Rizzo confirmed on Sunday that he is not throwing in the towel in regard to contract extension talks with Soto and his agent, Scott Boras.

“This is Juan Soto’s team,” Rizzo said.

“We’re going to attack a deal with Juan Soto. This is his team. He's the face of the franchise. I want him here for the long term. We’re going to continue to talk and try to make him a Nat for a long time.”

Rizzo further touched on the notable offer that the team made to Soto before the start of the lockout, where he noted that the sudden work stoppage prevented him from engaging in back-in-forth dialogue on this matter.

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“We made the offer really right before we couldn’t talk to him anymore,” Rizzo said. “So there really wasn’t a lot of dialogue after because there wasn’t any time. We made an offer and all of a sudden the lockout happened.”

Had Soto elected to agree to the mega-contract extension offer that the Nationals placed on the table ahead of the lockout, it would have then ranked him at 17th in MLB today per a $26.9 million average annual value. Soto did add to ESPN that “right now, my agents and I think the best option is to go year by year and wait for free agency,” although it remains to be seen on whether the Nationals would put any consideration into siding with this approach.

As it stands, Soto is currently under team control for three more seasons, including the upcoming 2022 campaign.

Soto was a standout performer for the Nationals in the 2021 season, where he earned an All-Star nod for the first time in his career and finished at second in the final voting for the 2021 NL MVP Award.