The Nationals announced they had exercised the 2023 contract options of president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez.
This somewhat wraps up the drama that has surrounded the team for the past few months. It was reported in May that Rizzo and Martinez were in the final years secured from their respective deals. With the club mired in a roster teardown and the Lerner family exploring a possible sale of the club, it was certainly worth noting that the team manager and key front office member were both in status. of lame duck.
However, the organization have given themselves a bit more certainty about their future, with Rizzo and Martinez each locked down for at least one more season. In May, there were conflicting reports on Martinez’s salary for the next year, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today putting it at $4 million, while Jon Heyman of the New York Post said $3.5 million. However, in report this newsNightengale used the figure of $3.5 million. Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty relay that Martinez met with Lerner Sports chief operating officer Alan Gottlieb on Saturday, ahead of the July 15 deadline for the club to decide on the two options.
Rizzo has overseen many different eras of Nationals baseball, having first been hired by the team in 2006. After many lost seasons, the club became a contender in 2012 and remained there for the rest of that year. decade, making the playoffs five times and winning the World Series in 2019. However, their fortunes have slipped in recent years, leading to the club suffering a massive sell-off at last year’s trade deadline. Unsurprisingly, this led to this season’s 29-50 record, better than the Reds among National League teams. Martinez, on the other hand, was hired ahead of the 2018 season and led the team through the competitive years, including winning the World Series. Now he has moved on to overseeing a rebuild, with much of the roster made up of young players auditioning to be part of the next core.
Despite the added certainty offered by these decisions, they also represent a kick in the box, in a sense. The same lame duck situation could still happen a year from now, unless contract extensions are agreed in the meantime. The club’s potential sale is still up in the air. Then there is the Juan Soto situation as the club superstar is expected to reach free agency after the 2024 season. Reports over the past few days have revealed that the potential for an extension is still in the cards, but Soto reportedly rejected a 13-year, $350 million offer before the lockdown and an unknown, presumably higher offer after. There’s still a lot to do for the Nats, but they’ve given themselves some time to work on it by removing a few items from the to-do list.