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Washington Nationals’ Davey Martinez wants to get a new deal done, the sooner the better

Davey Martinez talked to reporters about his contract status, shared the story of Yadiel Hernandez getting his first home run ball, and talked about Victor Robles’s arm...

Davey in D.C. beyond 2020?:

Once GM and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo got his own long-term deal with the Washington Nationals earlier this month, he said the first thing he wanted to do was to lock up manager Davey Martinez, to keep the skipper who led the club to the World Series title in 2019 in the nation’s capital for the foreseeable future.

Martinez, 55, signed a 3 years/$2.8M deal with the Nationals in October of 2017 which had a $1.2M club option for 2021 tacked on to the end.

Rizzo said his preference was to go beyond just the option year.

“That’s priority one is to get Davey taken care of,” Rizzo said. “My plan is, and my preference is, to not pick up the option and go well beyond that and that’s the plan going forward, see if we can get something done and negotiate a longer-term deal with him that goes beyond just picking up the option.”

Kansas City Royals v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The manager said earlier this month he wants to continue working towards an agreement as well.

“I love it here, I love working with Rizzo,” Martinez told reporters.

“Being a part of this organization means a lot to me and my family, so yeah, if we can get something done it would be awesome. I want to be here, I think we have a bright future here.”

Martinez confirmed recently that his representatives talked to Rizzo about a long-term deal, but with four days left in the regular season, nothing has been announced, so he was asked again on Wednesday afternoon what the status of negotiations was at this point.

“My agent and [Rizzo], they’ve had many conversations,” Martinez said. “They’re talking about it. I leave that up to them. Just know that like I said before, I love it here. I don’t see myself going anywhere else. I appreciate the family, I appreciate this organization. And we’ve built a special relationship here. I hope I get a chance to stay here for many, many years ... the sooner the better though.”

Not Yadiel Hernandez’s first home run?:

Yadiel Hernandez’s big league career started at age 32, and he went 0 for 7 with four Ks in his first few games before he was optioned back to Fredericksburg, VA’s Alternate Training Site, but he returned to the team this past weekend and picked up his first hit.

Then he connected a second time, both doubles, before launching his first major league home run on Tuesday in the nation’s capital, hitting a walk-off winner to beat the Phillies.

After the game, manager Davey Martinez and bullpen coach Henry Blanco tried to present Hernandez with the home run ball which was retrieved from Nationals Park’s right field bullpen.

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

“Henry had Yadi’s ball, HR ball, and he gave it to me, so I called him in and went to go give it to him and he goes, ‘What is this?’” Martinez recounted.

“And [Henry] goes, ‘This is your home run ball.’

“And [Hernandez] goes, ‘This is not my first home run.’

“And I go, ‘This is the only home run that matters right now, big boy.’ [laughs]. This is your first home run, you can forget about all those other home runs you hit. This is No. 1. Keep it.

“And he started smiling. But yeah, just, he said, ‘This is not my first home run.’”

Robles almost throws one over the scoreboard?:

As Davey Martinez’s pregame press conference was winding down on Wednesday he asked reporters a question: “By the way, did you see Robles throw the ball that hit the scoreboard yesterday?”

Uh, no.

Victor Robles, 22, had apparently tried to throw a ball from center field in Nationals Park up and over the massive scoreboard high above the outfield.

“He threw a ball from center field, and literally almost threw the ball over the scoreboard,” Martinez said.

“I mean, and I’m looking up there, that’s a long way, and so I thought about going out there today and just seeing how far it really is, by standing up there, but literally it hit the very top of the scoreboard, and it looked like he wasn’t even trying, and I thought I wonder if he can — like I don’t want to ask him to do it, because I don’t want him to get hurt.

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

‘I wonder if he could throw the ball over the scoreboard. That’s a pretty impressive throw.”

When it didn’t go over, since this was during the game, Martinez worried it might fall back to the field.

“I was like, ‘Man, that ball is going to go over the scoreboard,’ and just hit the very top of it and trickled, and then bounced down, and I thought, it’s going to be back on the field and we’re going to have a delay. But it ended up getting stuck on the bottom, but I thought it was pretty impressive.

“I’d like to see him do it, but I don’t want to see him do it now.”