Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo was named Baseball America’s 2019 Executive of the Year on Tuesday after guiding the organization to its first World Series Championship. It is the first time Baseball America has honored Rizzo with this award. He was previously named the 2012 MLB Executive of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
En route to the World Series Championship, the 2019 Washington Nationals finished the regular season with a 93-69 (.574) record and were winners of the top Wild Card spot in the National League. The 2019 season marked Washington’s eighth consecutive winning season, the fourth-longest active winning streak in Major League Baseball. During this stretch of winning seasons, the Nationals have won four National League East Division titles (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017) in addition to their Wild Card berth in 2019.
“Mike was our first hire when the Lerner family was awarded ownership of the Nationals in 2006. We knew then, what the rest of the baseball community knows now, that he has an unparalleled commitment to winning and is one of the savviest baseball minds in the game,” said Mark D. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner of the Washington Nationals. “On behalf of the entire Nationals family, congratulations to Mike for winning this tremendous award.”
Following the 2018 season, Rizzo and his baseball operations staff made 11 moves from October through February impacting the 40-man roster. The additions of catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, as well as pitchers Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez, brought talent, experience and leadership to Washington’s roster. Rizzo brought first baseman Matt Adams back to Washington D.C. and added veteran second baseman Brian Dozier’s steady glove and power bat to the lineup.
As the Nationals battled through the early portion of the 2019 season, Rizzo’s additions of Gerardo Parra, Javy Guerra and Fernando Rodney helped stabilize the roster as the Nationals waited for their regulars to return from the Injured List. In early August, Rizzo signed a familiar face in Asdrúbal Cabrera to provide a switch-hitting, versatile infielder to help the Nationals down the stretch.
The 2019 Trade Deadline saw significant additions to Washington’s roster, specifically the bullpen. As the deadline neared, Rizzo acquired Daniel Hudson from the Toronto Blue Jays, as well as Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners. Rizzo acquired all three pitchers without surrendering any current Major League talent or top prospects.
Since 2012, the Nationals are 730-566 (.562), the second-best regular season record in Major League Baseball over this span, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (757-540, .584). Since the start of the 2009 season – Rizzo’s first as the General Manager, the Nationals are 938-843 (.527).
The 2019 season was Rizzo’s 11th as the head of Washington’s baseball operations, 14th as a member of the Nationals’ front office and his 36th season in professional baseball.