The Washington Nationals have agreed to a two-year contract extension with President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, keeping him with the club through the 2020 season.
Rizzo, 57, was the first and most significant hire made by the Lerner family after assuming control of the Nationals franchise in July of 2006. Brought on first as Assistant General Manager, Rizzo’s arrival in The District signaled a renewed emphasis on amateur talent and building a successful organization from the bottom up. Rizzo was promoted to President of Baseball Operations and General Manager on Aug. 1, 2013, continuing his swift ascension within the organization and reflecting his strong working relationship with the Lerner Family.
“Mike’s commitment to our shared goal of bringing a World Championship to Washington, D.C. makes this an exciting day for our family and the Washington Nationals,” said Theodore N. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner of the Washington Nationals. “Mike and his staff have built quite a team - one that brings excitement to our ballpark every night and gives our city something to be proud of.”
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in Washington, DC, building the Nationals from nearly expansion status into one of the winningest clubs in Major League Baseball,” Rizzo said. “I appreciate the Lerner family for giving me the continued opportunity to see what we can accomplish in the future.”
Under Rizzo’s leadership, the Nationals have transformed into one of Major League Baseball’s perennially elite clubs, boasting a .572 winning percentage and a 559-418 record, second only to that of the Los Angeles Dodgers (561-417, .574). Behind award winners Max Scherzer (NL Cy Young), Daniel Murphy (NL Silver Slugger) and Ryan Zimmerman (NL Comeback Player of the Year by the MLBPA) as well as the electric talents of Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, among others, the Nationals posted their sixth consecutive winning season in 2017 and returned to the Postseason as a division winner for the fourth time since 2012.
Rizzo’s commitment to building a strong player development system was on display during the 2017 season when the Nationals used 49 different players in their quest for the National League East division title. The emergence of homegrown talent such as Michael A. Taylor, Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Adrian Sanchez, among others, allowed the club to not only stay afloat, but thrive, as the Nationals sustained a bevy of injuries throughout the season.
Currently one of the longest-tenured GM’s in baseball, Rizzo was named the 2012 MLB Executive of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association, and the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago, which followed 2011 Man of the Year honors from the Lido Civic Club of Washington, D.C.