- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Mike Rizzo, Nationals in contract extension talks, owner says
Question of the Day
Ensuring that the key architect behind their rise to prominence does not have an uncertain future, the Washington Nationals are in discussions with general manager Mike Rizzo for a contract extension.
“We’re talking about the future now,” Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner told The Washington Times. “We’re in discussions with Mike and I think both sides are confident that we’re going to come to an extension.”
According to one source with knowledge of the discussion, the Nationals have already indicated they will exercise the 2014 option on Rizzo’s contract, securing him through at least next season. But their focus remains on a long-term commitment.
“I think everyone will be happy at the end of the day,” Lerner said.
Rizzo is working in the final guaranteed year of the five-year deal he signed before the 2011 season. The team holds another option on the general manager’s contract for the 2015 season.
Rizzo politely declined to comment on a possible extension.
Helping to build the Nationals into the 98-win team they were a season ago, as well as the World Series favorites they are this year, Rizzo has given ownership plenty of motivation to secure his future and, from its side, plenty of desire to keep him in Washington.
The first significant hire the Lerner family made when it took control of the Nationals in 2006, Rizzo has overseen almost every step of the team’s rebuilding process and been integral in turning it into a major league power.
When he assumed the job as full-time general manager in August 2009, Rizzo inherited a team that by the end of that season had lost 205 games in two years.
Overhauling the organization, starting with the scouting and player development departments, Rizzo helped transform the Nationals’ farm system into one of the league’s best.
Twenty-one of the 25 players on the Nationals’ 2012 National League Division Series roster were acquired during Rizzo’s tenure with the organization. Quite simply, he’s built them into what they are, and has put the plans in place for what they could be in the future.
The Nationals and Rizzo have plenty of time to broach a contract extension, but that deal would likely need to include a significant raise for the GM.
It’s relatively common for first-time executives to sign team-friendly contracts when they go through the initial negotiating process. Rizzo, whose career path has taken him from an area scout all the way up to the head of an organization, had little GM experience when he worked out his contract with the team during the 2010 season.
But the second time around, Rizzo will have far weightier credentials and plenty of leverage when it comes to a possible extension. Should the sides reach an impasse, there will also likely be significant interest in him elsewhere.
The latest example of Rizzo’s increased profile came on Opening Day, as he handed out a Gold Glove, three Silver Slugger awards, a Rookie of the Year award and a Manager of the Year award. When all of that was finished, managing principal owner Ted Lerner presented Rizzo with the Executive of the Year award he was honored with this offseason by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring 'God's Rescue Squad'
- WEST: Those who would rather join the jihadi army than their own nation's army
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq