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Nationals sign GM Mike Rizzo to long-term contract extension

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

The Nationals rewarded GM Mike Rizzo for his strong work in recent years.
The Nationals rewarded GM Mike Rizzo for his strong work in recent years. (USATSI)

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Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has signed a long-term contract extension and been promoted to President of Baseball Operations, the team announced. He retains his GM duties.

“Upon purchasing the Nationals, Mike Rizzo was our first hire and he has performed brilliantly,” said owner Ted Lerner in the statement. “We started with an idea about how baseball teams should be built and he translated it into a reality far faster than many could have imagined. He knows the game, the players, and is a true professional. Under his direct leadership, the Nationals have become one of the most exciting and respected young teams in baseball.”

"We've made significant progress toward our goal of competing for a World Series Championship," added Rizzo. "I intend to do everything in my power to one day hand that trophy to Mr. Lerner at Nationals Park. We've still got work to do."

Rizzo, 52, became the team's GM in August 2009 after spending nearly sixth months in the role on an interim basis. He joined the organization in 2006, when the franchise relocated from Montreal to Washington. Rizzo previous worked in the Diamondbacks front office.

Under his watch, the Nationals went from having baseball's worst record in 2009 (59-103) to baseball's best record in 2012 (98-64). Rizzo was at the helm when the team drafted both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, signed Jayson Werth and acquired Gio Gonzalez, most notably.

The Nationals have been arguably the most disappointing team in the game this year at 52-56, but they have a strong young core and it wouldn't take a ton of work to turn them back into contenders next season.

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