Nats exercise 2023 options on GM Rizzo, Martinez

July 3rd, 2022

WASHINGTON -- As the Nationals are in the midst of a new chapter of the organization, there will be consistency among the front office and coaching staffs for next season. On Saturday, the club announced it exercised the 2023 contract options of president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez.

“I'm very excited to be here for another year,” Martinez said Saturday, prior to the Nationals' 5-3 loss to the Marlins. “Like I've always said, for me, this is my home. I love it here. I love the people I work with here, from up to down.”

Rizzo and Martinez inked extensions with the Nats in September of 2020. The following season, the organization went through a roster overhaul at the Trade Deadline in which it dealt veterans to acquire developing prospects in a look ahead to the future.

“Mike and Davey have been leading the Washington Nationals for several years, and it is only right to continue with them at the forefront,” managing principal owner Mark D. Lerner said. “Mike has led us through many different phases of our organization, and we believe his work during this current phase will pay off in the end. Davey has done a tremendous job in the clubhouse and in the dugout for five seasons. His continued determination and unwavering support of his players makes us proud. We are lucky to have Mike and Davey leading the way.”

Said right-hander Kyle Finnegan: “I’m happy for them because they’re great at what they do and they’re even better people. … My life has truly changed since the day I signed here, and they have everything to do with that. … It’s really a joy to come to the ballpark everyday and be a member of this team.”

Rizzo has been the head of the Nationals’ baseball operations since the 2009 season. Washington has gone 1,058-1,024 (.508) and won the ‘19 World Series since then. Rizzo became the ninth active president of baseball operations/GM to achieve 1,000 victories (and sixth active with one team) on June 24, 2021.

"I couldn't see myself doing this without Riz, really,” Martinez said. “He's guided me through my first year here, through thick and thin. He's like a brother to me. We have a lot of tough conversations -- some good, some not so good -- but we understand what we're trying to do. So it's a lot of fun, and I appreciate everything he does. I really do. He works his tail off, and we want to get better."

Martinez has been at the helm of the Nationals since Oct. 30, 2017. He moved ahead of Manny Acta to become the team’s longest-tenured manager on May 6, 2021, and he passed Davey Johnson for the Nats’ most managerial wins on June 4, 2021. He entered Saturday with a 295-330 record as manager of the Nats.

“I’ve never played for a manager that cares more about his guys on a personal level,” said left-hander Sean Doolittle, who noted he “couldn’t be more happy” and also added, “I think the one constant is that he’s the same positive guy everyday. The season hasn’t gone the way that we’ve wanted it to go. It’s been tough, it’s been frustrating, but he’s the same guy he was in the second half of 2019. … I give him all the credit in the world for that.”

This season has been a shift to a wide-view lens for the Nationals, as the once-veteran roster now features younger players navigating the early stages of their Major League careers. With that, the Nationals held a 29-50 record coming into Saturday. Martinez credited his coaching staff for their work in fostering growth with an optimistic attitude.

"I think it does bring some continuity not only to this organization but to the players, as well, which is nice -- and also to the coaching staff, training staff,” Martinez added. “It's nice to know that we're going to be together and that we're going to continue to work the way we do."