The Washington Nationals have exercised contract options for president/general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez for the 2023 season, the club announced on Saturday afternoon. Both had contracts set to expire after the 2022 season with an option for 2023, so now they’ll be paid through next season at minimum.
“Mike and Davey have been leading the Washington Nationals for several years and it is only right to continue with them at the forefront,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said in a statement. “Mike has led us through many different phases of our organization and we believe his work during this current phase will pay off in the end. Davey has done a tremendous job in the clubhouse and in the dugout for five seasons. His continued determination and unwavering support of his players makes us proud. We are lucky to have Mike and Davey leading the way.”
Rizzo, 61, has been in his leadership position since becoming interim general manager on March 1, 2009. At the time, the franchise hadn’t been to the postseason since the 1981 Expos. On Rizzo’s watch, the Nationals have won the NL East four times, made the playoffs five times, won the NL pennant and won the 2019 World Series.
Martinez, 57, took over as Nationals manager for the 2018 season. He was at the helm in 2019, when the Nationals started 19-31 but rebounded to win 93 games before winning the wild-card game, taking down the Dodgers in the NLDS, the Cardinals in the NLCS and the Astros in the World Series.
The Nationals finished last in 2020 and 2021 and are there again at 29-50, but it appears ownership believes this is in spite of what Rizzo and Martinez bring the ballclub. Given what they’ve accomplished in the past, it’s a perfectly defensible move to trust the two to turn things around in the near future.