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Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo are discussing a contract extension

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Mike Rizzo's team had the best record in baseball in 2012. (USATSI)

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GM Mike Rizzo has helped take the Nationals from worst to first since being hired in 2009, and it appears team ownership is ready to reward his efforts. Rizzo and the Nationals are discussing a contract extension, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

“We're talking about the future now,” Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said. “We're in discussions with Mike and I think both sides are confident that we're going to come to an extension ... I think everyone will be happy at the end of the day."

Comak hears the club will exercise the 2014 option in Rizzo's contract -- they also hold an option for 2015 -- but they continue to focus on working out a multi-year guarantee.

Rizzo, 52, was named the team's interim GM in March 2009 following Jim Bowden's resignation. He was given the job full-time that August. The team went 59-103 that season, the worst record in baseball. That allowed them to land Bryce Harper with the first overall pick in the 2010 draft one year after taking Stephen Strasburg first overall.

Under Rizzo, the Nationals have added key pieces like Jayson Werth (free agent), Gio Gonzalez (trade), Denard Span (trade), Dan Haren (free agent), Adam LaRoche (free agent) and Rafael Soriano (free agent). Others like Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Tyler Clippard predate his time as GM.

Before taking over as GM, Rizzo served as an assistant to Bowden from 2006-09, coinciding with the team's move to Washington. He's also worked as a scout for the White Sox and Red Sox in addition to serving as the Diamondbacks' scouting director.

Giants GM Brian Sabean recently signed a new extension through 2016 with an option for 2017.

 
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