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Rizzo gets 5-year extension

Oct 19, 2010, 5:36 PM EST

Read the full story with quotes from Rizzo on

The Nationals have given Mike Rizzo a five-year contract extension and promoted him to executive vice president of baseball operations and and general manager.

Rizzo, who took over as interim GM in March 2009 following Jim Bowden’s resignation, was named permanent GM in August 2009. His next extension runs through the 2015 season. Rizzo is due to hold a conference call with reporters at 2 p.m.

More to come…

UPDATE AT 1:43 P.M. — Statement from managing principal owner Ted Lerner, who apparently made the decision to give Rizzo the extension: “Mike Rizzo is unquestionably one of the best baseball minds in the game. He has a unique ability to see player talent for what it is, what it can be and how it fits into building a team. Mike has been one of the architects of the rebuilding of the entire Nationals player system, from scouting to player development to big league signings. We believe the talent foundation we are establishing on and off the field will make the Nationals one of baseball’s most exciting teams over the next several seasons.”

  1. Doc - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Not to put a damper on Ted Lerner's enthusiasm for Mike Rizzo, because Rizzo probably has some obvious strenths that may serve him well.I do think, however, that as good at scouting as Rizzo might be, he lacks some state of the art GM adminsitrative qualities that would put him in the upper echelon of baseball GMs.Maybe he grows into the positon, and that would be nice to see, and good for the Nats.

  2. Wally - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Wow, didn't see that coming. Yet they wouldn't let him make the Dunn trade?

  3. Upper Left Field - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    I wonder if other teams were sniffing around at Rizzo's availability. I think the analysis is right that this indicates a confidence in Rizzo and hopefully, he'll be able to continue building this franchise the right way. The reality is that yes, he's not the most experienced guy and yes he has made mistakes. but in the long run you get a better product if you decide that your guy has good judgment and will learn from his mistakes, rather than not giving him a chance to build.

  4. josh f - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Love this move. Now go get us some pitchers!

  5. Mark - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    So, in about a 13 month stretch, he goes from Interim GM, to GM with a 5 year extension? As much as I like Mike, I'm scratching my head on the order of events here.

  6. Softball Girl - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    You can debate whether Rizzo is right for GM, but this is clearly the Lerners way of saying they're letting a baseball guy run the baseball team. It gives the Nats some much-needed stability and hopefully credibility when it comes to Rizzo trying to sign a #1 starter. Among others.

  7. Bowdenball - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Mark:What about the order of events makes you scratch your head? That's pretty much the only order it could have gone in. Doesn't make much sense to give a guy a 5 year extension as GM, then make him your Interim GM, then make him your permanent GM.It also makes perfect sense from a non-smartalecky standpoint. They needed a post-Bowden GM quickly and they had a respected candidate on staff, so they made him Interim GM. They thought he did a good job so they removed the interim title. Then they thought he was still doing a good job and wanted to create some front office continuity, so they gave him an extension. Plenty of front office sports jobs have followed that exact pattern.

  8. natsfan1a - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:50 PM

    Congrats to Rizzo, and I hope that softball girl is right re. the message being sent.

  9. Anonymous - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    Seems more like the Boswell chat comment coming true. Bos said the Lerner's wouldn't hire anyone to take over Kasten's post and instead divide up the position to other people. Make everyone work a little harder, and it saves some money too. I see this signing as more of the same, probably like Bos does too.

  10. Wally - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    I think that Rizzo is a smart baseball guy with a skill in talent evaluation, and that is huge in that job. So I am fine with a longer commitment to him, and I am also ok with no one replacing StanK. I wasn't exactly sure what he did anyway, other than a name out front.But my earlier comment holds – why didn't they let him make the Dunn trade? I am not saying that I agree with what he wanted to do – I would resign the guy. But if you don't give your top baseball guy the leeway to make baseball decisions, that is not good. I know that Boz' take isn't necessarily true, but it feels right in this instance. I hope for all our sake that either Boz was wrong, or it was StanK that vetoed it, not the Lerners.

  11. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    I see at as a reward for a baseball lifer that has risen through the ranks. I am more excited about the title of VP of Baseball OperationsKasten is and was no more that a huckster for the organization and offered very little in "on the field" decisions. Before Rizzo, we were stuck with the clown Bowden and it wasn't until Dana Brown and Mike Rizzo joined the organization that a real improvement in approach took place.It has become apparent, despite what all the Lerner haters expouse, that the organization will now be run by baseball people.

  12. Section 223 - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Good move and congratulations to Mr. Rizzo. The owners have shown they recognize baseball evaluators. Now when he brings players to the owners, they need to pay the players accordingly (or above market when needed until we become contenders).

  13. Section 223 - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    I also have a nickel that says A.J. doesn't make it to the fourth inning tonight against the former Senators.

  14. Anonymous8 - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Wally, believe nothing what you hear like the the Dunn "trade".I am glad they tied Rizzo up long-term just for the sake of continuity.

  15. Anonymous8 - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    NatsJack, I agree. It is sickening sometimes with all the venom spewed. I don't even think Angelos gets this much grief.The team made a lot of mistakes in the past and 2010 was a good turning point for the organization. If they can stay away from the Adam Kennedy mistakes and pick up some more "sure things" instead of stop gap moves, there will be even more progress.This year they finally get rid of all the dead wood that hunkered down the payroll. They now have the ability to make some key moves to position this team for a playoff run in 2012 to 2013.

  16. JMW IV - Oct 19, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Blah. You are the man now, Rizzo. do something to ensure that we don't have a crappy team again next year.

  17. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    One guy we can cross off the available FA list is Ted Lilly. He just re-upped with the Dodgers for three years.

  18. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 20, 2010 at 3:09 AM

    Scratch another potential FA as well:From the AP:Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish says he plans to stay in his home country for at least another season, putting off a possible move to the major leagues.¶ Darvish, who has been heavily scouted by numerous major league teams, wrote on his Web site Wednesday that he will play for the Nippon Ham Fighters next season.

  19. Anonymous - Oct 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Way to go—Kasten's salary is off the books & Rizzo gets a title and probably a tiny raise. That's good for the bottom line & that is all that matters.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    And another hater shows up, although I believe it's primarily the same induvidual who prefers to not have an identity.Yes, one salesman off the books and a true baseball man in charge. I love seeing Bob Boone, Davey Johnson and Pat Corrales (all with front office assignments) roaming the training complex or Arizona Fall League and all the minor league team sites constantlt assessing our young talent. Yep… the Lerners are probably paying those guys pennies on the dollar.

  21. Harper_ROY_2012 - Oct 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Rizzo is a good scout and knows the on the field portion of the game, but for him to run the whole enchilada, BAD MOVE, he is not that kind of guy that is why he was an ASSISTANT and available, look at Arizona now, did he make them a winner in the long-term NO. It is obvious that Kasten was giving the Lerner's flack on their lack of production on the field so he was fired, oh I mean left on his own accord and Rizzo gets a promotion and an extension because he is a yes man.





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