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Davey Martinez is under contract through the end of the 2023 season, as is GM Mike Rizzo, and both of them are excited about the progress they’ve made with the organizational reboot/rebuild/reset they kicked off at the trade deadline in 2021. Will they be here to see it through?
Martinez hopes he will be.
“When we started this, we had a plan,” he told reporters after the trade deadline passed last week, and the Nationals traded veteran Jeimer Candelario to Chicago for two prospects now ranked in their Top 20 by MLB’s Pipeline scouts, which is what the Nats have been doing since August of 2021, flipping players on expiring deals for prospects to restock the minor league system.
“Obviously, part of the plan is getting some guys here that we thought that, if possible, we can get some young players for,” Martinez explained. “That’s part of it. But our plan is to get younger, give our young guys opportunities to come up here and play, and yet, as we move forward, watch these guys develop. And so far, so good.”
The sixth-year manager, who led the club to a World Series win in his second season on the bench in 2019, said he is excited about the talent they’ve assembled in trades and the draft over the past few years.
“We got a lot of good young guys, and some of the guys that are coming I’m really, really excited about,” he added. “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.”
“I think we impacted our franchise greatly,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies before this year’s deadline of the trade hauls and draft classes they’ve added to the mix over the last three years.
“I think that we put the rebuild process in overdrive, and I think that we’re further along than if we hadn’t done those two trade deadlines,” he said of the sell-offs of expiring contracts (and a few years of control of Trea Turner) in 2021 and ‘22 (when they traded Juan Soto … and Josh Bell), and, to a lesser extent, this season.
With another draft and another deal in the books, the club now has to make a decision on whether Rizzo and Martinez are the right people to get the Nats back to the postseason in the near future after three years of losses and last place finishes in the NL East.
“We don’t like losing,” Martinez reiterated this week. “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.”
Does the Nationals’ ownership group feel good enough about where the organization is at now to extend Rizzo and Martinez (or one or the other if not both, something a commenter noted correctly should have been an option in our poll)? We asked what you thought and it is time for the results. The envelope please... what? There is no envelope? Just an image? I guess that’s cool. Here you go... I guess. Whatever. Results: