The Washington Nationals have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, the club announced on Wednesday.
Rizzo, 62, is in his 15th year as the head of Nationals baseball operations, and over the last three seasons has overseen the installation of the key pieces that will comprise the organization’s next championship-caliber team. The 2023 Nationals have the chance to record one of the best season-to-season win improvements in team history, and the player development system is considered among the best in baseball.
“Mike and I have talked and worked with each other almost daily for 17 years. Together with my family and the entire Nationals staff, we’ve always shared the same dream: to make the Washington Nationals a team that our fans could love and be proud of,” said Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner. “We have all worked collectively to build what was essentially an expansion team with no Major League depth into a contender, and then into a World Series champion. We’ve experienced some tough losing seasons and we’ve hung championship banners, and we’ve done it all together.
“We are once again hard at work to build a championship contender in D.C. We now believe we have the beginnings of a roster filled with promising young players and exciting prospects at nearly every position. While we once talked about winning World Series rings for our baseball-loving fathers, Mike’s family and ours now look forward to winning even more rings for our children and grandchildren – and, of course, for every other Nationals-loving fan and family everywhere. We are excited about our future.”
Rizzo is widely recognized throughout the baseball industry for his sharp eye in scouting, his wise free agent pickups and his ability to construct organizations around acquired talent. Shrewd trades and free agent signings during Rizzo’s tenure with the Nationals have helped the ball club achieve consistent success.
Under Rizzo’s leadership from 2012 to 2019, the Nationals evolved into one of Major League Baseball’s perennially elite clubs, winning the World Series in 2019 as a Wild Card team and earning four National League East titles (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017). Washington’s .563 winning percentage over that eight-year run was the second-best in Major League Baseball behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (.584).
“I love being part of the Washington Nationals organization,” Rizzo said. “Nearly 17 years ago, Ted Lerner and his family asked me to help build the Nats into a winning team. Together, we managed to find success within just a few years, winning multiple divisional titles and, ultimately, bringing D.C. its first World Series championship since 1924.
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside ownership as we put the pieces together for our initial team build-up and run. Now, we believe we are developing the next generation of contenders and champions. We deeply believe in our process and in our progress. The next few years are going to be ones no Nationals fan will want to miss. My family and I want to thank the Lerner, Cohen and Tanenbaum families, Alan Gottlieb and Nationals management for their trust and commitment to winning another World Series. I am excited to be a part of that commitment.”
The Nationals are 1,149-1,161 (.497) since the start of the 2009 season, when Rizzo took over Washington’s baseball operations. Since 2012, the Nationals are 941-884 (.516), a top-10 record in Major League Baseball over this span.
Rizzo was the first and most significant hire made by the Lerner family after assuming control of the Nationals franchise. Brought in initially as an Assistant General Manager in 2006, Rizzo was named General Manager in 2009 before being promoted to his current role President of Baseball Operations and General Manager on Aug. 1, 2013.
Rizzo has been recognized with many significant awards, including six different Major League Baseball Executive of the Year honors as well as three separate Hall of Fame inductions.