Report: Nats extend manager Martinez, nearing new deal with GM Rizzo

Report: Nats extend manager Martinez, nearing new deal with GM Rizzo

The Washington Nationals are keeping the status quo, agreeing to a two-year contract extension with manager Dave Martinez while also nearing an agreement on a new deal with longtime president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo, sources told Ken Rosenthal and Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic.

Full details of Rizzo’s extension aren’t known, but it’ll likely be for a similar length as Martinez, Rosenthal and Ghiroli add. Martinez is also reportedly getting a club option for 2026 as part of his extension.

Both men were in the final year of their previous deals after Washington picked up their respective club options last July.

Martinez has compiled a 378-455 record with a .454 winning percentage over six seasons managing the Nationals. The 58-year-old led the franchise to its greatest success in 2019, helping author a remarkable in-season turnaround en route to a miraculous playoff run culminating in the franchise’s first-ever NL pennant and World Series title.

News of his extension comes amid an ongoing rebuild in which the Nats bottomed out with 107 losses last year. While the team sits last in the NL East this season, Martinez’s young club has played well lately, entering Monday with a 12-6 record in August.

Prior to getting hired in Washington, Martinez spent 10 years as a bench coach on Joe Maddon’s coaching staffs with the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs. He also played 16 seasons in the majors for several teams, including four years with the Nationals’ predecessors, the Montreal Expos.

Rizzo has served as the team’s GM since 2009 and added president of baseball operations to his title in 2013. The 62-year-old was the architect of the Nationals’ winning clubs during the 2010s, helping get the team out of its perennial spot in the basement by developing stars like Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, and Juan Soto, among others. He’s also lured several big-name free agents to Washington, including future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer.

Now, he’s trying to engineer a second winning era in D.C. through another full-scale rebuild. Rizzo traded the remaining stars from the 2019 club over the last few years to add a ton of bright young talent to what was a barren farm system, some of whom have already contributed to the big club. Outfielder Dylan Crews, selected second overall by the Nats in last month’s draft, is already ranked as the No. 4 prospect in baseball by MLB.com.

The extensions bring stability to a franchise bracing for a potential ownership change in the next few years. Longtime principal owner Mark Lerner, whose father bought the team from MLB in 2006, began to explore selling the Nationals last April.

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