According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Washington Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo have agreed on a three-year extension that will keep the architect of the club in the nation’s capital.
Rizzo, 59, was in the final year of a 2-year/$8M extension, though in an interview with reporters back on August 9th, he said he wasn’t worried about the fact that he hadn’t signed a new contract at that point.
“We haven’t discussed it,” Rizzo said. “I’m not worried about it, they’ll take care of it when they deem themselves ready to take care of it, so I haven’t given it much thought.
“My focus is on winning a championship here in 2020, and I think that’s going to be our sole focus going forward.”
The Nationals have signed general manager Mike Rizzo to a contract extension, a source tells The Athletic. Rizzo’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 5, 2020
Things aren’t going well for the 2019 World Series champions this season, but the one-time scout, turned scouting director, assistant GM, and General Manager, who took over the club in 2009, and guided them to the title last season, will apparently remain in his role with the team as a GM and President of Baseball Operations.
In an SiriusXM MLB Network Radio interview last week, Vice President, Assistant General Manager, International Operations with the Nationals, Johnny DiPuglia, said Rizzo wasn’t worried at all, though DiPuglia said he was personally surprised nothing had been worked out with the GM.
“I’m surprised, but I’m going to tell you Mike Rizzo is not worried about it,” DiPuglia said.
“Mike Rizzo said he’s never begged for a contract, he’s never asked for a contract, he just won the World Series, he’s probably for sure a top three GM in baseball.
“He’s not concerned about. I’m sure he deserves one. I know we have this pandemic going on, and you can blame it on that.
“But I’m sure baseball will be played in ‘21 and ‘22, and you’re going to need a leader, why not have one of the best.”
Apparently the Nationals’ ownership group agreed.
“We are thrilled that Mike will continue to lead our club,” Washington Nationals’ Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner said in a statement released by the team this afternoon.
“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.”