The Nationals agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Mike Rizzo, the team announced Saturday afternoon.
Rizzo’s contract extension solves a major hurdle for the organization. Letting the franchise architect hit the free market following a flop in 2020 would have put the organization in an unfamiliar place of instability. Instead, Rizzo has been retained for three more years, according to multiple reports.
Next up will be a decision around the contract of manager Davey Martinez. His situation is much easier than the one Rizzo was in. Rizzo’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season. The organization holds an option on Martinez’s contract and, presumably, will engage in the simplistic process of picking it up.
Rizzo, 59, became the Nationals interim team president in 2009. Since then, he moved into the title with no caveats, constructed one of Major League Baseball’s most consistent winners and found a way to the 2019 World Series.
“We are thrilled that Mike will continue to lead our club,” said Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner in a statement. “He guided us through the early years of building this franchise into what it is today – a perennial contender that brought a World Series Championship home to Washington, D.C. last season. I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship for years to come.”
The Nationals are 951-867 (.523) since the start of the 2009 season, when Rizzo took over Washington’s baseball operations. That is the seventh-best record in Major League Baseball over the last 12 seasons. Since 2012, the Nationals are 743-590 (.557), the third-best regular season record in Major League Baseball over this span, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (787-550, .589) and New York Yankees (750-584, .562).
The Nationals also won four National League East Division titles in that span.
However, all the regular-season winning did not translate to a title until last season’s historic turnaround from 19-31 to World Series champions.
“I talked to him this morning,” Davey Martinez said. “I was ecstatic for Mike and his family. It’s great news. We have an unbelievable working relationship together. We bonded over the years. I’m elated for him. Really, I am. He deserves it. He built this organization. Good for him. It’s just one unbelievable job he’s done with this organization. He goes down as a champion. He gets more years to build us up again and do it again.”
Rizzo is currently the fourth-longest tenured general manager in Major League Baseball. Only Brian Cashman of the Yankees, Jon Daniels of the Rangers and Dayton Moore of the Royals have been in charge of teams longer than Rizzo.
Rizzo was not made available to the media on Saturday.