Tag:Mike Rizzo
Posted on: February 25, 2012 11:26 pm

Zimmerman, Nats inch closer to extension

Ryan Zimmerman

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan Zimmerman's 10 a.m. deadline passed with a contract extension with the Nationals and it appears his Saturday deadline will, as well. But that doesn't mean the two sides won't get a deal done.

Saturday night, Zimmerman's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, said the two sides were close to a deal. Zimmerman is expected to sign an extension worth approximately $18 million per year -- but that was never the sticking point. Instead of money, Zimmerman wanted a no-trade clause that would keep the 27-year-old Virginia native in Washington.

"We have made significant progress on an extension for Ryan that would ensure he plays for the Nationals for a long time, which has always been Ryan's goal," Van Wagenen said. "We are working on a structure that will allow the team to continue to add talent and establish a winner, which is another goal of Ryan's.

"While there are still important aspects to work through, we bridged multiple important gaps on many major parts of a contract. Nothing is done until it is done, but both sides are optimistic than an agreement can be reached and Ryan can focus his energies on preparing with his teammates for the season."

Zimmerman has said he didn't want the extension -- which at one point this offseason Nats GM Mike Rizzo said was the team's top offseason priority -- to interfere with the team's preparation for the season. The team held its first full-squad workout on Saturday.

"All along, all I've wanted is to be able to stay with the Nationals, which I consider my hometown team, and help the franchise become a winner while also being compensated fairly," Zimmerman said. "While nothing is finalized, I am confident that we can reach an agreement that will accompish all those things. I'm from Virginia, I was drafted by the Nationals and I've seen this organization make great progress since I signed here. I want to see it through to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series."

Zimmerman was adamant that he receive a no-trade clause since he was willing to give the hometown discount. Jayson Werth received a no-trade clause in his monster deal last winter, while Mark Buehrle and Prince Fielder were reportedly offered no-trade clauses as part of the offers made to those free agents this winter.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 2:39 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Nats, Zimmerman extend extension talks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The beauty of a self-imposed deadline is that it's pretty easy to ignore it if you want to do so.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said his representatives and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo continued their contract extension past the 10 a.m. deadline Zimmerman had set, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Zimmerman said the two sides had "a couple of little hurdles" remaining, and the main sticking point is still Zimmerman's request for a no-trade clause. "Something creative to ensure me I'll be here," Zimmerman said.

The sides have agreed on money, which CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reported is roughly $18 million per year, but Zimmerman said he only wanted to take the deal if it was guaranteed he'd be staying in Washington. Heyman said Zimmerman's side offered a "creative" solution to the impasse. Zimmerman, 27, is signed through 2013.

The new deadline, is the end of the day, Zimmerman said -- unless it's not.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:10 pm

Nats GM: Harper cocky, but not malicious

Bryce Harper

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Even before he was picked first overall in the 2010 draft, the Nationals' Bryce Harper had a reputation of rubbing people the wrong way. Harper's talent has never, ever been questioned, but his demeanor and attitude have been.

I saw it last year in a Class A game in Lexington, Ky., where he nearly started a fight by trying to bowl over a catcher despite having no chance of dislodging the ball, only to back down quickly. He famously blew a kiss at a pitcher after homering off of him last season, drawing scorn from many. Others have scoffed at his use of eye black and even the way he wears his hat -- and for Pete's sake, he named his dog "Swag." And then there's his Twitter account.

Bryce Harper
Last week Harper told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he wanted to be a Joe Namath-type athlete off the field.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the team understands Harper is a typical 19-year-old, but what to impress upon him that anything he does won't be treated like the actions or words of a typical 19-year-old. The Nationals, Rizzo told the Washington Post, have counseled Harper and tried to impress upon him his role in the organization.

Rizzo also said, he doesn't think Harper's a bad kid, "there's not a malicious bone in his body. Now, there's a cocky bone in there," Rizzo told the Post's Jason Reid. "And there's an ego bone. And there are other bones … but there's not a malicious bone in his body."

Nationals manager Davey Johnson is reportedly pushing for Harper to make the team's opening-day roster, but Rizzo seems to think Harper has development left beyond his production on the field.

"He's going to make it to the big leagues when I realize that, developmentally, he's ready to play in the big leagues," Rizzo told the Post. "That's physically, that's emotionally and that's psychologically."

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:54 pm

Nats' Rizzo says team isn't chasing Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Rizzo wants you to know that the Nationals aren't interested in Prince Fielder. Really. But…

"As far as are we going to dab our toe in [the Prince Fielder] water, those are decisions we make early on in that process and we've more or less decided that Adam [LaRoche] is going to be our first baseman," Rizzo said Wednesday on MLBNetwork Radio (via the Washington Times). "Unless something extraordinary and out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going into spring training."


Last week Rizzo said the team was planning on LaRoche being the team's first baseman in 2012, but didn't exactly elaborate.

The Nationals have been a popular rumored landing spot for the biggest free agent left on the market, as the team has a lot of money to spend, a good history Scott Boras, Fielder's agent, and it has LaRoche at first base.

LaRoche, 32, was limited to 43 games in 2011 before undergoing labrum surgery in June. In the first year of a two-year, $16 million deal with the Nationals, LaRoche hit .172/.288/.258 with three homers and 15 RBI in 177 plate appearances. LaRoche is a career .267/.337/.478 hitter. He hit 32 homers with the Braves in 2006 and hit 25 homers for three straight years from 2008 to 2010 for the Pirates, Red Sox, Braves and Diamondbacks. LaRoche will make $8 million this season and there's a $10 mutual option for 2013, with a $1 million buyout.

"Adam LaRoche is under contract for us, we're paying him a lot of money to play first base for us next year," Rizzo said. "We feel that he's going to have a bounceback season. We just want him to have his career norms: .265, 25, 85-100 RBI and play great defense. We feel that his shoulder is rehabbed, he's 100 percent, and talking to him just recently, he feels great and he's ready to contribute to us in 2012."

As for Fielder, the question, of course, becomes what does "extraordinary" mean to Rizzo? Could it be Fielder open to a shorter contract with a higher average annual value? Or could it be a longer deal backloaded? Or just Fielder saying he's decided he wants to be a National. The longer Fielder stays on the market, the more possibilities can pop up and something out of the ordinary could happen.

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Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:17 pm

Nationals doctors say Ramos in 'terrific' shape

Wilson RamosBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Wilson Ramos was back in the United States on Friday, but will return to Venezuela in time to play Tuesday night, he said in a brief statement to reporters after a visit to Nationals Park on Friday.

Ramos came to Washington DC to visit with team doctors and front office personnel following his kidnapping last week in his native Venezula.

"It was great, seeing him happy," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a news conference (via the Washington Post.) "He had a big smile on his face like he usually does. We sat down, relaxed, talked baseball. It'll be all baseball from here on out."

Rizzo said the doctors told him Ramos was in "terrific" shape. He also said the team wouldn't prevent their Venezuelan-born players from playing winter ball in the country. Ramos is scheduled to play for Tigres de Aragua.

"I had no second thoughts," Rizzo said. "He plays for his country, in his country. He's very prideful about his country, and he feels safe there. He plays for his country. He plays in front of his family. We can't ask him not to do that."

Ramos didn't take questions at the news conference, but did make a brief statement (via MASNSports.com): "I just want to say, 'Thanks, Nats fans, for your prayers and your support.' I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be with my family, and see you in spring training."

And speaking as a baseball fan, it was great to see Ramos and we can't wait to see him safe and sound in spring training.

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Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:24 pm

Davey Johnson will stay on as Nationals' manager

Davey JohnsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

It's hardly a surprise, but Davey Johnson will return to the Washington Nationals as manager in 2012, but the team is just waiting until the end of the World Series to make the announcement, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters on a conference call Wednesday.

"We're just waiting for an opportunity to make an announcement," Rizzo said, according to the Washington Post.

Rizzo said he and Johnson have talked about the coaching staff for next season and will finalize that after the World Series, though no major changes are expected.

The Nationals went 40-43 under Johnson last season, finishing third in the NL East. He took over after the bizarre exit of Jim Riggleman, who quit when he didn't get an extension.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 7:54 pm

Minor league stadium under water

By C. Trent Rosecrans

One of the coolest minor league ballparks I've visited is in Harrisburg, Pa., where the field is on an island, City Island, just on the edge of downtown.

I remember walking from my downtown hotel, across a bridge with other fans for a Harrisburg Senators game and stumbling back. The bridge continued over the the Susquehana to the other side, in the middle was what is now called Metro Bank Park. It's a unique setting for baseball and the one game I went to there was a total blast.

That makes this photo from Harrisburg third baseman Tim Pahuta posted on Twitter (@Pahooter44) make me feel even sadder. (Photo credit: Tony Wagner)


Because of the rains on the East Coast this week, the island is under water.

The Senators, the Double-A affiliate of the Nationals, had home field advantage in the Eastern League playoffs as the Western Division champs and were supposed to start a series against Richmond at Metro Bank Park on Wednesday and Thursday. The series will now start Friday in Richmond with the first two games being played in Virginia. All five games are likely to be played at the Flying Squirrels' home. According to the Patriot-News, officials from the Senators and Eastern League will meet Saturday to determine whether Metro Bank Park will be able to host baseball. If not, the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday followed by games on Sunday and Monday. If the teams can play on City Island, the teams would return to Harrisburg for Game 3 and then have a doubleheader on Monday if necessary. But that doesn't seem likely.

"It's unfortunate that the flooding situation happened there," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post. "I just saw a picture of the stadium. It's certainly unplayable. It looks like it's going to be unplayable for a long, long time."

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Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:16 pm

Rizzo disciplined; Rodriguez fined

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike RizzoMajor League Baseball has disciplined Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and fined catcher Ivan Rodriguez for their role in an altercation with an umpiring crew last week, the Washington Post reports.

According to the report, the league considers the manner "closed." Rodriguez has been fined "an undisclosed amount."

Rodriguez was many of Nationals to confront umpires after Phil Cuzzi erroneously called Jayson Werth out on a close play at first base in a loss to the Mets.

According to a report (denyed by Rizzo), umpires called security after Rizzo confronted them outside their dressing room. Later, Rizzo said his confrontation with the umpires had nothing to do with the play in the ninth. Either way, neither the umpires nor MLB appreciated it.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com