Davey Martinez finally got his multi-year extension this past summer, a few weeks before GM and President of Baseball Ops Mike Rizzo and the Nationals’ ownership group agreed on another multi-year extension to keep Washington’s brain trust intact three years into the re-boot/build the club kicked off at the trade deadline in 2021.
“I did get an extension and I’m elated to be back,” Martinez told reporters in his pregame presser before August 21st’s game against the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium, “… and knowing that I’m coming back here for a few more years, it’s a blessing for me and my family. I want to thank the Lerner family for all they’ve done for me and my family, [Rizzo], the group upstairs, and these players that play hard every day. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve enjoyed every bit of being here. As you guys know I love the fans of D.C., so like I said, I’m really happy to be back, coming back, and it’s a blessing for me and my family to be able to do something I love to do. And actually be doing a lot better with it right now, with the way the guys are playing. And I really believe the future is bright here for us. So I’m excited about that.”
Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies that Martinez getting his extension done first was by design.
“I’ll put it this way, I’m Davey’s boss,” the GM told the Junkies “My job is to take care of Davey and to take care of the players in the clubhouse and I’ve done my job. It was important for me to have ownership sign off on this multi-year contract. To me it was important for me to have Davey solidified in that clubhouse as a guy who is going to be around and see this rebuild go through, so that was a success.”
“And job well done, Mike, so I appreciate that,” Rizzo added, congratulating himself.
“Davey’s been terrific. He’s earned it, he deserves it, there can’t be another guy to see this through. The guy went from a World Series champ to rebuilder and hopefully comes out of it on the other end as World Series champ again.”
CJ Abrams said, after the win that night, he and his teammates were excited to have Martinez locked up, providing the team with stability going forward as the club tries to build another championship-caliber team.
“We got a lot in store,” the shortstop said.
“[We’re a] young team, we’re coming together… and we got Davey for another [few] years, so we’re going to make things happen.”
Martinez guided the Nationals to a World Series win in his second year on the job in 2019, the first World Series title for a D.C.-based team since 1924, but the last few years were filled with a lot of losses and the sixth-year skipper acknowledged it hasn’t been an easy process, but he said getting a nod of approval from the ownership group in the nation’s capital meant a lot to him.
“It always feel good when you’re working really hard to get better, but to continue to give me the opportunity to do that, especially with such a young group, means a lot to me,” Martinez explained. “And like I said, we are heading in the right direction, and these guys are playing really well right now. And it’s more about them than it is anything else. I love the progression. I love the process, what we’re going through. And to watch them go out there every day and do what they’re doing, it’s been a lot of fun. So we’re going to continue to get better, I know that. There’s a lot more to this than what we see, and those guys down in the minor leagues are continuing to get better as well, so we’re excited about that.”
Martinez offered a callback to 2019 when he talked about getting back to contending for postseason births and World Series titles again.
“You could never imagine how this path would go,” he said of the post-’19 road back to contention, “… but we’re here today. I always talk about being where your feet are, and I like where we’re headed. I said before: ‘Bumpy roads lead to beautiful places.’ We’re going to get there.”