Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo capped the first day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego, CA off with a series of interviews, talking with the MLB Network, MLB Network Radio and baseball writers gathered at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.
What follows are quotes from the MLB Network Radio interview with "Inside Pitch" hosts Casey Stern and Jim Bowden and links to videos, transcripts and articles on the other interviews...
Rizzo on Nats' starter Jordan Zimmermann:
"He's one of the elite starting pitchers in the game. He's a guy that's near and dear to my heart. We drafted, signed him and developed him and watched him become an All-Star-caliber player."
"We'd certainly love to have him on the club, he's family to us and he's a terrific pitcher."
Rizzo on the Nationals' needs this winter:
"We've worked hard over the last couple of years where you don't have to do a lot of major work each and every year. We've got ourselves a good, fertile farm system that consistently brings us players that are helpful at the major league level and we hopefully continue to do that.
"Again, the scouting on the one hand, you develop them on the other hand, they know how to play the Washington way when they get to the big leagues. It's a testament to our staffs. You're never good enough, you're never as good as you can be. We're always looking to tweak and get better and sometimes the biggest moves you make are the small moves. We've got plenty of room to improve. We had a terrific regular season last year and a bad playoff. And we need to build on that and get better."
Rizzo talks to MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko:
Rizzo on the Nationals' needs other than a second baseman:
"Not a specific spot... these things take on a life of their own and there are often opportunities that arise in places that you may not see them at first. And we're looking for opportunities. We're looking for opportunities to get value in a trade, a value free agent signing and that type of thing to propel us to get to that next level, because we're certainly not satisfied with where we ended up last year."
Rizzo on the state of the Nationals' bullpen:
"We love the club that we have, first of all, I'll say that. We love the bullpen, but we can't be arrogant enough to think that we are so good right now that we don't have to do anything. We always have to look to improve and there are a lot of ways to do it. We feel that we're going to upgrade ourselves internally by additions that we're going to make internally to the bullpen and in the starting rotation. The acquisition of [Matt] Thornton, I thought, was a big acquisition last year, he pitched extremely well for us. So we feel good about our left side of the bullpen. We've got really good guys on our right side. We've got great depth in our minor league system. We've got seven or eight or nine starting pitching candidates from our big league staff to our guys that are capable of pitching in the big leagues and with that said, we're always looking to improve."
#Nats' Rizzo on A.J. Cole: "He's going to come to Spring Training w/ a purpose & he thinks he's going to make the club and he just might."— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) December 9, 2014