The Nationals have agreed to a contract extension with general manager Mike Rizzo, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. He had been working under the final year of his existing contract. Rizzo’s new deal will be for three years, per Rosenthal, keeping him at the helm of the Nats through at least 2023.
Rizzo, 59, took over as the Washington GM in 2009, first in the interim before earning the permanent title. During his 11-plus years as the lead decision-maker, Rizzo’s Nats teams have made five postseason appearances, including last year’s famous run to the World Series. Of course, last year’s success largely erased the Nationals’ reputation as playoff disappointments, which they garnered after four NLDS exits (three of which required a decisive fifth game) in a six-year stretch from 2012-2017. The Nationals have an overall 951-867 (0.523) W-L record during Rizzo’s tenure.
Under his leadership, the Nats have drafted stars like Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and others. They’ve had success in the international amateur market, signing the likes of Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and the emerging Luis Garcia as teenagers.
Furthermore, Washington hasn’t been shy about handing out significant contracts in free agency. The Nats’ starting pitching corps, especially, was built through free agency, with Max Scherzer, Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin earning a combined $595MM in guaranteed contracts from the Nationals on the open market.
Rizzo has been instrumental in guiding the Nationals through tumultuous losing seasons (which allowed the club to acquire talent early in the draft) and elevating the team to contending status, with eight consecutive winning seasons under their belt (though that streak is likely to end this year).
With Rizzo locked up for the foreseeable future, the Nationals will likely turn their attention to another top employee, manager Dave Martinez. Washington holds a $1.2MM club option over Martinez for the 2021 season, which would be Martinez’s fourth as the Nats’ skipper. In fact, the franchise hasn’t had a manager last more than three seasons since Frank Robinson’s five years leading the Expos and Nats.