clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez reportedly gets extension; GM Mike Rizzo and Nats close...

Notes and quotes from the Nats’ off day, with some big news on the bench and in the front office...

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.


With all the work they’ve done since they kicked off their organizational reboot at the 2021 Trade Deadline, selling off expiring deals to jumpstart the process with an influx of young, higher-end talent, the prospects they’ve added through deadline deals over the past two years, as well as the players they’ve added through the first-year and international drafts, GM Mike Rizzo said this week he thinks the club is close to returning to relevance following (a World Series win in 2019 and) three straight 5th-place finishes in the five-team NL East.

In addition to the young talent already in the majors (CJ Abrams, Keibert Ruiz, MacKenzie Gore), with the well-regarded prospects in their pipeline, Rizzo said he sees their plan coming together.

“We’re deeper than we’ve ever been at many positions, and when you talk about [2023 1st Round pick Dylan] Crews and [James] Wood and [Robert Hassell III] (both acquired in the Juan Soto trade to San Diego last summer), and [2021 1st Round pick Brady] House and that group,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this week, “... they’re not only young, they’re advanced for their level and playing well. I think you can see the results of that are coming fast, and when we talk about getting back to a championship-caliber club, you see the light at the end of the tunnel is coming.”

“We got a lot of good young guys, and some of the guys that are coming I’m really, really excited about,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters recently, in talking about the state of the organization as they head into the home stretch this season. “Some of the core guys that we got in Double-A that are doing well, we’re excited about those guys. So the plan seems to be progressing and progressing quite quickly. I don’t think that we’re that far off. We’re playing, we compete here every day and the guys are going out there and playing hard. So I love that about them. So we’ve got to continue to go and continue to get better.”

Rizzo, Martinez, and everyone in the organization is tired of losing, Martinez added, and the club is ready to get back to winning again.

“We don’t like losing,” Martinez said. “We really don’t. We want this thing to happen and happen fairly quickly. This organization has been known to win and play in the playoffs. So we want to get back to that as soon as possible. So like I said, we started this thing, we’ve had a plan.

“The plan wasn’t to wait five, six years. The plan was to try to get it done. And right now we feel really good about where we’re at.”

The major league club is also 12-6 this month, with wins in 23 of their last 37 games.

Apparently the Nationals’ ownership group is happy enough with the progress the club has made to keep Rizzo and Martinez around to see it through.

According to multiple reports last night (with The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Brittany Ghiroli the first we saw), the team has already agreed to an extension with Martinez for another two years (plus?), while Rizzo and the Nationals are close to a similar deal.

MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reported, citing a “source familiar with the terms”, that Martinez’s deal, “includes a third-year option, and Rizzo is close to finalizing a deal of similar length.”


Joey Meneses took the nation’s capital by storm last summer, coming up after ten years in the minors to make his MLB debut and putting up a .324/.367/.563 line, 14 doubles, and 13 home runs in 56 games and 240 plate appearances. His 2023 production hasn’t been at the same level, but...

Through 117 games and 508 PAs, the 31-year-old slugger has a .285/.331/.421 line with 29 doubles and 11 home runs. He’s hit nine of his 11 HRs this season in the last two months (and 182 PAs), after he hit just two over the first three months (and 326 PAs).

Meneses’s manager, Davey Martinez told reporters back in early June it was taking time for his Designated Hitter to adjust to the DH role, and they were working with him on starting to elevate the ball again.

Little League Classic Photo by Katherine Woolson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“It’s funny,” Martinez said. “I looked at what he did last year and what [he’s doing this year]. He’s not hitting the ball any less [hard] than he did last year, he’s just not getting the ball up in the air as much, and that’s something they’re working on, but he’s hitting the ball really hard. I think at this point he feels like he knows he can hit here, and he is who he is, we’re going to try to get him to once again start trying to get the ball elevated in the air.”

“And that’s something that he’s working really hard on with [Hitting coaches Darnell Coles and Pat Roessler],” the skipper added, “but [Meneses has] been great. He’s been awesome.

“And like I said, he is learning how to DH, and getting a routine. That’s something that is taking him a while, but he’s starting to grasp it a little bit.”

As noted above, the power has picked up in the last two months. Martinez talked in his post game presser after Meneses hit two doubles and drove in 5 of the 10 runs the club scored in a 10-7 win over the Red Sox last week about the power not being the same, though the DH has hit with runners in scoring position all year (.361/.383/.481 w/ RISP on the season, with his .361 AVG 10th best amongst qualified MLB hitters).

“I tell him all the time, ‘Hey, it’s about the RBIs, about run production.’ And every time we get guys on base, he hits the ball hard. It’s been awesome. Some guys have the knack to do that, some guys really don’t. And he’s one of those guys that with guys on base, he bears down and hits the ball hard.”

Though he hasn’t produced the type of power numbers he did last season, his manager said Meneses has grown as a player since first coming up to the big leagues last August.

“He’s come a long way,” Martinez said.

“He got an opportunity here with us, and he’s taken full advantage of it. From last year to this year, he’s done really, really well.”