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Nats give Rizzo long-term deal, promotion

Aug 2, 2013, 1:16 AM EST

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Updated at 9:53 p.m.

By Mark Zuckerman

One day after Mike Rizzo displayed a show of confidence in his struggling team, electing not to make any changes at the July 31 trade deadline, Nationals ownership decided to display its own show of confidence in its general manager.

The Nationals announced Thursday night Rizzo has signed a long-term contract, with a promotion included. Rizzo now becomes the club’s president of baseball operations in addition to GM.

Upon purchasing the Nationals, Mike Rizzo was our first hire and he has performed brilliantly,” managing principal owner Ted Lerner said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

Rizzo, who initially was hired by the Nationals in July 2006 to serve as assistant GM under Jim Bowden, took over top duties in 2009 after Bowden resigned, inheriting a franchise coming off a 102-loss season and with a barren farm system. Three years later, Rizzo helped build a 98-win division champion, one built largely through the draft and several trades for young players with long-term club control.
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118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    Look, everyone knows how I feel about Mike Rizzo. It's become a joke around here of sorts. But I don't care. This is very well-deserved.This is ownership showing confidence in a guy who has done more for this team than any single other person. People always say "well anybody could've drafted Strasburg and Harper!" and that's true. But not anybody could've traded for Gio Gonzalez. He did. Not anybody could have turned Matt Capps into Wilson Ramos…Rizzo did. And then even with those young guys, he has done a phenomenal job overseeing their development. And he deserves credit for that, as does the entire Nationals organization. Has Rizzo made mistakes? Yes, he has. Any GM has made mistakes. But I feel very comfortable knowing Mike Rizzo will be here for a long time.

  2. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    And no, that's not a comprehensive list of things I think Rizzo has done before somebody comes in and says 'wow you named two things!". Just two big things.

  3. alexva - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    good job Papa Lerner. congrats Mike.

  4. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Congrats, Mike.

  5. baseballswami - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Anyone watching Pirates/ Cards? I am a baseball fan , not just a Nats fan. Good series out in Pittsburgh- but five games??? Question — do the Nats have an organizational hitting philosophy? Seems like the Cardinals hitters come right up and fit into their style of play. I just don't see that in our organization- a bottom to too indoctrination of the Nats hitting philosophy. If we have one. Do we?

  6. JayB - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    I guess Mike was wrong…this is NOT a performance based business. I do not think Rizzo has the personality/temperament to run this organization and I know his ego gets in the way of his decision process. Is he the worst….far from it….is he the best….far from it. I am disappointed in this move. He has proved very little and this year is a huge red flag. He has lost the clubhouse and Manager. His team is way under-performing and he does not think anything needs to be changed.If you disagree make sure you not that my ranking of Rizzo is almost word for word from Davey.

  7. baseballswami - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    That would be– bottom to top.

  8. JaneB - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:39 AM

    I hope that this is the beginning of the Lerners seeing that they need to make some moves of the non-trading kind to grow stability and confidence in the clubhouse. Sign Desi next, people. I mean really.

  9. UnkyD - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Congrats, Riz!!! Now stick to your guns… I trust your judgement!!!

  10. paul brandt - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    said this in the last post & stand by it:paul brandt said…I don't have a problem with the Rizzo announcement, timing is a bit odd but he's done more good than bad with this team. Maybe they are showing potential FA's that they are stable since we all know they are getting a new manager in a few months. Sorry but Rizzo isn't the problem, its the players on the field that are not performing.August 01, 2013 9:03 PM

  11. Secret wasian man - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Who cares. He's a mediocre GM who for every good move he made last year he crapped it away this year.

  12. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    I watched some of it, swami. Nice to see that beautiful ballpark drawing crowds. Not a Pirates fan (although one of my aunts was), but I was rooting for them to sweep the (boo) Cards (gack).

  13. Secret wasian man - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:46 AM

    He should have begged Davey to resign at the All Star break.

  14. phil dunton - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Rewarding incompetence just like the Wizards with Leonsis and Grunfeld. Both teams have losing records. I am surprised the Lerners don't try to talk Davey out of retiring. At least Rizzo is better than Bowden. By the way, Bowden would still be the Nats GM or President if he hadn't done himself in with the DR skimming scandal.

  15. paul brandt - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    SWM, haha…I have a problem with your 945pm post but not your 946pm post but IMO, Davey should have made it easy on Rizzo and stepped down…let Knorr show what he can or can not do at this point, its not like we are 1 game back and its a free audition, no brainer.

  16. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    I really don't understand the hate for Rizzo here. Really don't.

  17. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    I am neutral on Rizzo. Great job last year. Lousy job this year. True not all to his credit and not all to his fault however it always falls back on the Manager and GM.He has to find a solution to moving Ryan Zimmerman to 1st base even if it means Laroche takes Tracys spot on the bench as the most expensive bench guy in the Majors.Smart GMs dont compound problems. Lets see if Rizzo is a smart GM.

  18. Ivan Tuski - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    the difference between losing before and losing now are the comments have gotten substantially more ludicrous and immature

  19. JayB - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Look at the product he put on the field bar is not Bowden

  20. Ivan Tuski - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    oh and congratulations Mr Rizzo. I think it is well deserved, now sign Zimmermann and Desi

  21. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Giants score 2 at the Top of the 9th and win 2-1 over phillies

  22. paul brandt - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    DP, I don't see the "hate for Rizzo" in the 18 comments so far…from what I read, most are for it?

  23. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Congrats, Mike Rizzo.

  24. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    Phillies had bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 9th behind 2-1.Nix flew out, Carlos Ruiz flew out, Eric Kratz grounded out. Game over.

  25. SCNatsFan - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Proctor I agree. How quickly people forget where we were a couple of years ago. Some got on the bandwagon after 98 wins, I got on when the team was in Montreal. Anyone who has been here for awie understands how hard this year was because we had hope and are failing; how many years did we have no hope at all?

  26. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Nats 128 – yeah, great signing for the Fillies, Papelbon. Velocity down, mouth open.

  27. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Natslady, talking about GMs. Amaro hasnt made a good move in 4 years.Papelbon is a complete joke.

  28. JayB - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Harem is a bigger joke

  29. baseballswami - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    I think Rizzo did the things that seemed like they were right for the team. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't . No guarantees. I don't love the way everything has worked out, but that doesn't mean I think his process was wrong. If anything, I don't usually disagree with WHAT he does, but I often don't like HOW he does things. Tends to be a bit abrasive in his people skills.

  30. SonnyG10 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Oh…my…gosh! I was afraid Rizzo might be fired after this season, or at least not getting a long term deal. This blows me away. Now we will get to see how Mike goes about fixing the mess we're in now. And it will give him the rope to get our new manager in place. Congrats, Mike.

  31. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I wouldnt want a change in GMs rather I want Rizzo to change. When you make a mistake deal with it and move on. I think he has finally done that with Henry and Espinosa. Next he has to deal with Laroche and embrace a platoon for centerfield. Find a good righty Centerfielder and a new 3rd base man and the Nats are set for 2014 and a backup catcher and monitor the Hairston situation as he may not work out.

  32. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    I really don't understand the hate for Rizzo here. Really don't.Really? Team is 4 games under .500 and all but out of contention on August 1. Fans are frustrated and looking to blame anybody/everybody.I'm not saying I share that attitude–I'm not as high on Rizzo as some and not as down on him as others. But it seems pretty clear where the haters/skeptics are coming from.

  33. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    I'm glad they did the deal for Rizzo now. The season is hanging by a thread, bu it's not over, and there is always next year. Very smart guy, Rizzo, and tough as nails. Assuming Gio is not suspended, exactly WHAT is the worst scandal we had this year? Clip upset about Storen's demotion. Outsiders said Clip should be suspended for "conduct detrimental." What does Rizzo do, he says, Clip and I disagree, but he has the right to say it. Yes, this season is not what we hoped, but "hope" is what it was. Let's look at the other playoff teams from 2012.The Giants won't repeat–first to last. Reds unlikely to repeat. (Reds were the OTHER "best team in the NL.") Yankees won't repeat. Detroit MIGHT repeat. Oakland MIGHT repeat. Ballmer MIGHT get a WC. St. Louis MIGHT repeat. Atlanta very likely to repeat. There you go, out of all the playoff teams from last year, only one, and that one was a WC team, has very good odds of going to the playoffs again. All other teams are either not going, unlikely to go, or in a fight for it.

  34. JD - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    JaybNot really.Haren is for 1 year.the phills have papplebon for a bunch.

  35. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Haren is a shorter term and less expensive joke, which is kinda the point.Say that you will about Rizzo, he hasn't hung the albatross of long term expensive FA signings around the team's (future) neck–with one obvious exception.

  36. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Meltdowns? Have you seen the Red Sox game.

  37. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Oh, forgot Texas. Texas MIGHT repeat. And don't forget, the Tigers have to win the World Series, or it's a lost season for them.

  38. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Haren is a one-year deal. That was the point. Rizzo may re-think his policy of going to the FA market for a 4-5 starter, but that depends on what the farm system delivers.

  39. paul brandt - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    128, agree…Rizzo's problem in 2013 was that he took months to deal with Hrod and Espi, make definitive decisions much more quickly starting now with ALR if he can (and Soriano).put up or shut up.

  40. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Red Sox walkoff. Score 6 in the 9th to win 8-7

  41. JayB - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Ryan z is a problem contract just like werth

  42. James Joyce - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    The Lerners are making money hand over fist, the club is packing 'em in, and the cash registers are ringing. They don't care that Rizzo has been iffy. The club is their investment, it is performing well, all is good in their world.

  43. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Natslady, Rizzo could have made a quick decision on Haren and move him to the bullpen and Ohlendorf to starter. He had a solution. He chose to stick with Harens.

  44. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    JayB, you are wrong. Ryan Z and Werth contracts arent a problem now. Laroche is.

  45. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Wow, six runs in the 9th inning! Gotta check the chart. The Red Sox had 0.6% chance of winning that game. There ya go–we're headed for the playoffs!!!!!

  46. JayB - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    Nobody would that those contract today and team is under .500 and out or race on aug 1

  47. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    Nats 128–maybe. Not every starter can work out of the pen. Zach Duke couldn't seem to (or maybe Davey used him wrong.) Wang couldn't–his warm-up program was far too extensive.

  48. JD - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    JaybYou just shoot from the hip don't you?Zim is 28 and is as likely to continue producing at high levels as not.As I recall before we signed Werth you were complaining that we aren't spending any money.

  49. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    PB, agree Rizzo took to long, don't know how much of that was Davey. The old saw is you take the first 1/3 of the season to see what you have, then you prune. Guys do turn themselves around, Henry had surgery that was supposed to fix him, and so on.

  50. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    Natslady, you are right. It would be a place to get rid of him and have him do mop up duty. I think Harens was demoralizing on the team.Now Laroche is a demoralizing player. The guy makes you want to fall asleep. Low energy guy. That flu has lasted a long time.

  51. JD - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    The Nat's had to stick with Haren. History dictated that he is better than Ohlendorf and one doesn't make decisions based on small sample sizes.If you think that replacing Espinosa with Tendon took too long you may want to observe that our record hasn't improved since the move.

  52. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Rizzo is like a lot of other GMs of late in trying to put his main emphasis on run prevention (fielding and pitching) rather than run scoring. That approach applies to re-signing ALR; it applies to keeping Danny on the big league squad for so long; it applies to the extension of Zimm; it applies to the Span trade. You could add the Zook trade, too, if you want.Rizzo is hardly alone in that approach, and it may work out in 2014. But in 2013, the results have not been pretty–because a # of those players have declined defensively (ALR, Zimm) and/or offensively (Zook, Danny, ALR, and yes, Span too).

  53. karlkolchak - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    I wasn't advocating Rizzo be fired, but I also don't see what the rush was. Why not wait until sometime next season when we'll know if he was just a one season wonder?

  54. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    "But the Nationals had incentive to work out Rizzos’s contract now. Ownership wanted to cement Rizzo’s status before the Nationals hire a new manager this offseason, Cardozo said. The team did not want Rizzo to worry about his own contract as he negotiated with a new manager. It also believed the position would be more attractive if candidates saw long-term stability at the top of the organization."This makes sense and also sounds like they're interested in someone from outside of the organization.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    hiramhover, I've always advocated winning teams are built on balance. Chicks dig the longball and you don't win with the longball if you have lousy pitching and if you don't believe it just ask the Texas Rangers of the ARod years.The 2012 Nats had balance. Low 3's on ERA and mid 4's on runs scored. You still have to score more than you give up to win.BTW, Nats defense is much worse this year. Outfield improved but infield defense is much worse and the errors have been back-breakers.

  56. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Ghost, so right on the infield defense. That has cost multiple games, not to mention upsetting the pitchers.

  57. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Rendon has 12 errors in 55 games. That's not going to work. Even if he's hitting, that's not going to work. If he's not hitting, it's REALLY not going to work.And we all know about Zim.

  58. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Nats 128, you are right about LaRoche looking sluggish for longer than flu normally lasts. Someone suggested mono. I would hope whatever it is (if anything) that he would get a diagnosis and treatment.

  59. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    LaRoche always looks sluggish. Always has, his entire career. That's actually the term that people have used to describe him throughout his career. But last year, everyone said he looked "smooth." Same thing, different term. He really doesn't look any different to me, I feel like people are projecting things onto him. Though he is skinny.

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    David, while Rendon has made errors its part of his learning process just like with Desi when he was a rookie. I don't think the Nats are overly concerned with the errors at 2nd base. I think they are concerned about the errors when he plays 3rd base.

  61. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Ghost and NatsLadyAgree about the IF defense. I did not think 2 years ago that Desi would be where he is today–I am very happy to be wrong. I left Rendon off my list above because … how much can you ask? They knew they were taking the defensive hit when they promoted him to play a position in the majors that he's hardly played before.Rendon has the talent (I think) to develop at 2B given the time. I see a kind of perverse situation in the future where he stays at 2B just long enough to figure it out, then gets shifted back to 3B when Zimm goes to 1B.

  62. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    "while Rendon has made errors its part of his learning process just like with Desi when he was a rookie."I agree. But in theory, we were supposed to be in a pennant race and I'm not sure that's where he should be working out the kinks. That ship may have sailed now so it's a moot point, but to this point, those things have hurt. Obviously we don't have any better options though so it is what it is.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    NatsLady said… Nats 128, you are right about LaRoche looking sluggish for longer than flu normally lasts. Someone suggested mono. I would hope whatever it is (if anything) that he would get a diagnosis and treatment. It's something. I'm concerned about him. He's not moving well. He's also not the type to complain.

  64. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    I guess I'm the only one who thinks LaRoche looks the same. Maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention. Production wise he's struggling, but he really looks fine to me health wise.

  65. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    He looks different than last year to me. Last year he looked tired and worn down for a period, he looked like he needed a day off and I remember asking why Davey didn't have a program for resting the vets. This year he looks like he needs a month off. He didn't look any better after the All-Star Break than he did before it.

  66. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    DPHe looks skinnier to me, but not the cadaver that some commenters here seem to see (was the 17-lb weight loss reported somewhere, or was that someone's eyeball guesstimate?).While ALR can still scoop throws, his fielding range seems to be declining. It's something Ghost has commented on a number of times, and the defensive metrics bear it out.

  67. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    If I recall, LaRoche said himself before the Break that he had lost 17 pounds and intended to gain some of it back.

  68. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:15 AM

    David, I have a hard time seeing Rendon as a 3rd baseman. He looks like a 2nd baseman to me. There are some decent moves Rizzo can make for a 3rd baseman to leave Rendon at 2nd and move RZim to 1st.Chase Headley is a Free Agent after next year. He would be a player to target unless the Padres are committed to him on a long-term deal. Kyle Seager is young and controlable and would be a great addition but would cost a lot.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    NatsLady said… I remember asking why Davey didn't have a program for resting the vets.Yep, I said that several times last year. Davey has done a better job this year except with the young kid Harper.

  70. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    Thanks, NL – I didn't remember that.

  71. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    I still think the organization views Danny Espinosa as the 2B and Rendon as the 3B. That could change. But for now, I think that's how they see it.

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    I haven't looked in a while but Fangraphs backs up what most are seeing with RZim. His UZR is worst in the Majors for 3rd baseman and his Range is 2nd to last just in front of Miggy.Simply shocking.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    David Proctor said… I still think the organization views Danny Espinosa as the 2B and Rendon as the 3B. That could change. But for now, I think that's how they see it. That's so last year.

  74. David Proctor - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:26 AM

    I don't think so. Espinosa can be a good player. He was a good player last year. Obviously what he's done this year has been…bad. But for a 2B, I would take what he did last year every time. If you look at Espinosa over the last couple years and compare him to all the other 2Bs in the league in terms of WAR, there is a small hand full of players that best him. Expand that list to MLB and it's not much larger.fWAR for 2012: Cano (7.8)[AL], Zobrist (5.8)[AL], Aaron Hill (5.4), Pedroia (4.3)[AL], BPhillips (3.6), Uggla (3.4), Espinosa (3.4)So Espi was the 7th most valuable 2B in MLB, 4th in the NL. 2011 is very similar (3.2, 8th overall, 3rd in the NL). He might strike out too much, but he's still a valuable player.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:32 AM

    LaRoche is 2nd to last in UZR for 1st baseman. His range according to Fangraphs is 3rd from last of 1st baseman only besting Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder. 1st base usually isn't a premium defensive position but LaRoche has regressed greatly in his range and by my eye test I think it's worse than his rating. LaRoche was a +3.5 last year in Range to -2.2 this year.People can keep talking about LaRoche as a great defender but as mentioned LaRoche's value is scooping poor throws from his infielders. Solution is moving RZim to 1st and hoping Desi doesn't bounce as many throws but I think RZim will be much better at 1st as he can play deep and make the reflex plays on smashes down the line.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    David Proctor, I hope you are right so Rizzo can trade Espinosa.

  77. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    "But not anybody could've traded for Gio Gonzalez. He did. Not anybody could have turned Matt Capps into Wilson Ramos…Rizzo did."So if "not anybody" could've done these things, then ….. I am confused. Are you saying that no one could have done these things but Rizzo did? But doesn't the mere fact of Rizzo doing them seem to imply that, in fact, someone could do these things?It reminds me of a scene from Homer where the cyclops has what appears to be an accident done by no man…..

  78. Faraz Shaikh - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Congrats to Mike. Good job Lerners.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    From the Tweeter:@MrBrianKennyI checked with my Dept of Decision Sciences, @robneyer. They say within reasonable margin of error, haters, are in fact, going to hate.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    WODL, heck as I remember it, Stan Kasten had his hands in that Capps for Ramos. Let's also remember, Billy Beane was shopping Gio Gonzalez to a few GMs. It was rumored Rizzo was going to get a big arm. Not everyone was thrilled with how much he gave up. Still, I think that trade was the biggest reason for the 98 wins and Rizzo deserves the credit plus he got AJ Cole back.

  81. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    I not only watched this team when it was in Montreal, I actually went to a game when this team was in Montreal, plus I have been to Quebec City and Hull, Ontario, and parts of New Brunswick, not to mention Windsor, Mississauga and Monton, New Brunswick. I also have my eye on a Ron Fairly fielder's mitt.

  82. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    No one would have ever noticed a problem with Ryan Zimmerman's range this year if we didn't have Fangraphs to tell us so.

  83. derwink - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:02 AM

    I agree with Nats 128 @10:20. I'm fine with the Rizzo signing but I hope he learns from his mistakes.I think Rizzo's background caught up to him. He's always been in the "find/draft talent and get them to the majors mode."I hope he now realizes that sometimes talent has to be sent down or traded If they don't produce. DEspinosa and HRod are prime examples.I'm sure he sees now that dumping HRod and promoting others wasn't such a bad thing. Still not sure why Tracy is around but that's another story.

  84. John C. - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    This is a good thing for the organization. Even the haters have to admit that, under Mike Rizzo, the Nationals have made vast strides over the past four years. The worst thing that the team could do would be to kick over the table at the first sign of turbulence. That’s the hallmark of the local NFL team for the past two decades – and their results speak for themselves. Right move, and the time to get this nailed down before the managerial search makes this the right time, too.No GM is perfect, and I have disagreed with some of Rizzo’s moves. Some of them I admit that Rizzo was right and I was wrong (Adam Dunn). But while I can cherry pick individual moves to criticize, I have to admit:The major league team is light years better.The minor league system is light years better.That’s a pretty good summation of the Nats under Rizzo’s leadership. I’m glad they locked him up. Go Nats!

  85. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Was watching BoSox and Nariners, Dodgers and Cubs abd Angels Blue Jays

  86. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    Game is never over until the last out.

  87. Manassas Nats' Fan - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    Need to win 3 of every 4 the rest of the way. We wasted 2/3 of the season.

  88. Drew - Aug 2, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    Rizzo also got A.J. Cole, Ian Krol and Blake Treinen for Michael Morse's injury-plagued walk year.I like this as a long-term move. The team has a dozen promising pitching prospects. It has for home-grown bats among the starting eight.The team needs more pop, but there are a few promising bats on the farm — Goodwin, Skole, Renda, Brandon Miller, the Oklahoma kid, Drew Ward.Players who leave — Dunn, Capps, DeRosa — even the backup catcher who signed with the Angels — praise the Nats as a classy organization.It all bodes well for the five-year window. As Clinton used to say: "The headlines are bad, but the trend lines are good."

  89. Drew - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Four of those dozen pitching prospects had excellent outings Thursday — Ray, Schwartz, Mooneyham, Giolito.Giolito's team, th Gulf Coast Nats, is 30-6. Drew Ward, the teenage Okie, batting third and hitting .339 with 12 doubles.There is more talent in the pipeline.

  90. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    Could not sleep and actually glad so many positives here. I also don't like everything Rizzo has done but do think this is a huge move for the organization. It shows faith and confidence and that has to help Rizzo in the moves he needs to make in the future. I am not sure years and money were disclosed but I do also understand that this is a business and I feel if we continue to under perform in the next several years the Lerners are smart enough to make a change. I hope beyond hope that we start to snap out of this. I skip one poster but I never miss JayB's rays of sunshine for this club. Did you really say the Werth and Zimmerman contracts were poor? How many times has it been pointed out that while Werth is definitely overpaid, it sent a signal to the rest of Major League Baseball that the Lerners were in this to win and that they would spend money. Would you really let the very first "face of the franchise" sail off into the sunset? Is that the kind of message you want to send? Yes, he has struggled this year but what joy he has brought and he is only 28. I am happy to be able to watch him play for us his entire career. That is not done much anymore and I hope to be able to say the same thing about Harper.Go Nats!!

  91. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    The signing and promoting Mike Rizzo removes a dark cloud that has been affecting the organization since Spring Training.Thank you Lerner family.

  92. natsfan1a - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    [raises hand] Looks the same to me as well. Of course, I'm not a doctor, don't play one on tv, and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But if I was a doctor, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make a diagnosis based solely on watching him play, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't post that diagnosis on a blog. Heck, I wouldn't even do that as a non-doctor. (Yeah, I know. It's the interwebz.)David Proctor said… I guess I'm the only one who thinks LaRoche looks the same. Maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention. Production wise he's struggling, but he really looks fine to me health wise. August 01, 2013 11:06 PM

  93. Joe Seamhead - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I am thrilled with the Rizzo news.

  94. MrsB loves the Nats - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Really glad to hear this news…

  95. MicheleS - Aug 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Congrats Mr Rizzo, glad we have some stability now in the front office, now we need it in the dugout. All good organizations have stability in the FO and in the dugout. That is how solid franchises are built. Check the Cards, Yankees, Braves, Rays, etc.

  96. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    "William O. Douglas Loeffler said… No one would have ever noticed a problem with Ryan Zimmerman's range this year if we didn't have Fangraphs to tell us so."Are you saying FP is no one. He comments all the time how shallow Ryan Z plays and how balls get past him.Plenty of frustration posted here in quotes like "why isnt Zimmerman playing the line" and "Ryan should have got that ball". While there is nobody better charging the ball he cant make many plays hit to his backhand any more.Most astonishing is that Fangraphs shows that Ryan and Laroche are both 2nd to last in UZR in the Majors for there positions. That isnt great for a team that was supposed to be built for pitching and defense.

  97. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    We have all noticed Ryan not getting to balls ("past a diving Ryan Zimmerman…"). You use fangraphs to track his performance against other third basemen that you DON'T see on a daily basis. The picture isn't good. I hope that with his shoulder healed (healing?) he will get back on track. Was Chipper's range that much better in his last few years?

  98. Nats 128 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    WODL is to fixated on Span to see whats going on with others. Ive espeially seen many posts on Laroche and his declining range. People keep saying how great he is defensively. Last year he was. This is this year.

  99. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    128, agree, Span is fine. Maybe his offense could be better, but that's not what is slowing this team down. LaRoche is just not putting up the numbers he did year after year after year, and though he does make some incredible defensive plays, it's not enough. (I was in favor of the LaRoche re-signing.) I don't know what's wrong but I hope he fixes it very soon.

  100. bowdenball - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Happy to see Rizzo signed to a long-term deal. He wins a lot more trades than he loses and seems to understand the importance of a deep and talented farm system. He deserves a small share of the blame this year for not giving us a stronger bench, but every other offseason move was defensible at worst, including the Haren and Soriano signings. I also think it's great to have a GM who is clearly invested in the long term health of the franchise rather than worrying about his job. You never want a guy who is motivated to sacrifice the future for the present just to keep his job.

  101. Muddy - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Hmmm, very little info on Mike's new contract. I'd like to know the number of years, any new responsibilities and/or organizational changes, and $$$ relative to other MLB presidents/GMs. None of our journalists seem to have it. Anybody heard anything?

  102. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Good Morning!Since I read this article early in the morning (or late at night – your choice), I went over to the Post. I honestly think we are lucky to have so many good places to get information (that excludes WODL who I guess made another incorrect statement somewhere on here).The article on Espinosa was quite interesting and I recommend it. Talks about what he has done to change his approach, also mentions it was his idea to play games at SS, he is honest about the fact that he is "playing for 30 other teams". Big thing I got also was there was no pouting or whining and that physically, he is ok. I realize Ghost and others feel he will be gone at sometime in the future but whether he is here or with another team, if he can start to play well he is an asset to our club.I am not Drew, but after that article they give a brief synopsis of our minor league teams. In 5 games from low A to AAA our pitchers gave up a total of 4 runs as we won all 5 games. Our new President of Operations has to be smiling about those results.Go Nats!!

  103. NatsLady - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    bowdenball, I was in favor of LaRoche, Soriano, Span.Was neutral on Haren, willing to trust Rizzo. (I still wonder if Haren underestimated his spring regimen.) You also have to look at the farm system, which has competitive/winning teams at all levels except AAA. As Clip said, get that winning all through the system, plus his drafting has been exemplary. Yes, Stras and Harper, but also Rendon, Giolito, and the guy this year. The farm system has provided a steady stream of pitchers (and some catchers). Hopefully, the position players will be next. Other than Brad Lidge, I can't recall anyone who left the Nats or the Nats system with anything other than compliments. He gives a lot of guys chances (Garcia, Ohlendorf). Yes, Rizzo has made some mistakes. He got Maya when other teams got Chapman and Puig. The international stuff is just so chancy. It's not as if he didn't TRY.

  104. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Muddy – I wondered about that as well. Rest assured that the Lerners took good care of Mr. Rizzo but I also stated earlier that if things go south, I think they will have the strength to cut their losses. I am in the camp that I hope that never happens but never forget, this is a business. I agree with many others that this was something that needed to happen sooner and I am glad was done.

  105. mick - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I am very pleased at this and relieved. A lot of posters including myself have made the point that when Davey announced this was his last year that it negatively affected the players in that maybe they have not felt the pressure to perform at a top level, since the boss will be gone any way…in that light, is it possible that by not dealing with Rizzo's long term future the mind set was that both bosses will be gone?In hindsight, the Lerners should have done this in December of 2012…However, they have done it and let's move forward!!!I have said all along, Rizzo should be given the chance to right the ship, now the players know, the owners are 100% behind Rizzo.

  106. ExposedinDC - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Good move….I guess. The bigger decision is who replaces Davey. I don't think the Rizzo/Johnson relationship is as great as everybody would want to believe.

  107. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I think lots of players will look at us as a place to get a fair chance NL and its a good point. Chris Young signed here as did Kelly Shoppach and many others. It is such a crap shoot to work back into the majors but it looks like we offer fair contracts and opportunity to do so. I also like the Kroll pickup in that he was probably on a list of players to pick and Rizzo's scouts had done their homework. Kroll was the player to be named in that trade and how often does that turn into a major league product in their first year??

  108. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Mick – I don't want to poke you and please, I am not attacking you but I bet if I wanted I could go back and read posts of yours where you are calling Rizzo a liar and every other name in the book. Why the change of heart?

  109. Theophilus T. S. - Aug 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. mick - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    coachI did and I also said in the same posts that he should be able to right the ship…whether he does or not remains to be seen. Also, I said many times, that the Lerners not extending his contract sent a bad message to the team and that the Lerners may see red flags with him by not extending his contract after 98 wins

  111. mick - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    coach…you were not concerned as to why the Lerners did not do this before the season? If fans had concerns, would not the players have as well?

  112. bowdenball - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    NatsLady-It's nice that the farm system is winning, but there aren't a lot of impact prospects. This has been a rough year for our top guya. Goodwin has been fine but hasn't really taken off, Skole is out for the year with injury, Karns, Jordan and Rendon all graduated, and Cole has had a so-so season, although he's been great since the AA promotion. Although Giolito taking the mound again is fantastic news, and he will probably be #1 on the preseason Nats prospect lists in the offseason. Our lack of elite prospects isn't really a huge concern since the major league roster has so much young talent under team control for several more years. Still, they need to rebuild through the draft and trades like the Morse one, which was a stroke of genius. I trust that Rizzo can do it, and now that he's here long term we don't have to worry about the short-term health of the major league club distracting him from that task.

  113. hiramhover - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    new post

  114. mick - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    well…we will find out….now, off on family vacation so MLB network here I come…back at you all in about 2 weeks!! we will see if I am right that Rizzo's extension will get Nats rolling or nottake care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  115. jeffwx - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I do appreciate Rizzo's eye for young talent and his use of draft picks. I question many of his trades based partly on what I read here. I also like the way he seems to have stepped in with the field manager. Allowing Espi to readjust in Syracuse, a move I think that will help Espi in the long run; moving Eck (would have got him a position somewhere else in the organization). He has the ability to step in on the field when needed.

  116. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Mick – yes,I was concerned as well and actually discussed it with my one "source" to see what he/she felt. Natsjack is correct when he says a cloud was lifted.

  117. sjm308 - Aug 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I was one who wanted Morse to be here this year. I just looked at box scores and to me it is telling that he did not play yesterday vs. the Red Sox. I believe he is now healthy and the fact that he is not starting might get some here to understand that he probably was not going to lead us to the promised land this year with all the other issues we have.





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