When Juan Soto came into MLB with the Washington Nationals, many thought he would not leave the franchise after the start he had to his career, helping them win a World Series in 2019, but after turning down a long-term deal in 2022, he was traded to the San Diego Padres.

Now, Soto is entering the 2024 season with the New York Yankees after the Padres traded him, and he revealed that he too thought he would be a Nationals player for life before being traded.

“Yeah, 100 percent. I never wanted to leave Washington,” Juan Soto said, via Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. “It was a great team. I knew everybody there, from the bottom all the way to the top. I was really comfortable and it felt like home for me. I was happy. I had a house in Washington. I was really comfortable up there.

“Out of nowhere, they made that decision. They thought it was the best thing for the team. I just respected it because they were really clear with me. That's one of the things I really respected (general manager Mike) Rizzo. He was really clear about the trade stuff. But definitely I never thought I was going to leave D.C. I was really thinking I was going to stay there for my whole career.”

The Nationals are trying to build a team now around the package they got for Soto. CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore specifically are players the Nationals need to have success for the rebuild to work out. In the meantime, Soto will try to have a successful year with the Yankees before hitting free agency.