The Washington Nationals have agreed to a multiyear contract extension with president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo, the team announced Wednesday.
The new deal with Rizzo, whose contract had been set to expire after the season, allows him to continue the Nationals’ rebuilding effort. Rizzo, 62, is in his 15th year running the team’s baseball operations.
“I’m honored and flattered to have this extension. It’s an honor that the Lerner family has entrusted me for so many years with the keys to the franchise,” Rizzo said at a news conference Wednesday. “I hope I’ve been a good caretaker for them thus far. … My goal is to put out a product the fan base can be proud of and that we win a lot of games and bring another parade to Washington, D.C.”
The Nationals won the 2019 World Series behind a core that included Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner, but they have finished last in the National League East each season since and enter Wednesday 1½ games behind the New York Mets to avoid doing so for a fourth straight year.
However, at 65-80, Washington has already improved on its 55-win total from the 2022 season.
“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,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said in a statement. “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.”
Rizzo has attempted to revamp the roster since its title run. The Nationals shipped Scherzer and Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2021 trade deadline and netted two key building blocks in return: 2023 All-Star pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz. Soto was also sent the San Diego Padres for a package that included current starting shortstop CJ Abrams.
Strasburg has not pitched for Washington since June 2022 and is set to retire, though a news conference that was reportedly scheduled for Saturday did not take place.
Rizzo said he has never seen the Lerner family “more involved and more focused” than it has been this season.
“You go through the dog days of the rebuild, and you just hope to get an opportunity to have some of the glory that the rebuild brings you,” Rizzo said. “This will be my second rebuild, so we’ve gone through our share of losing, but it’s all worth it for that eight- to 10-year run of excellence and competitiveness. That’s why it was important for me to be here and see this through and hopefully see another succession to be a really competitive team in a really competitive division and to win another ring for the Nationals’ fan base.”
The agreement with Rizzo follows a multiyear extension the Nationals reached with manager Dave Martinez that was announced Aug. 22.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.