The Washington Nationals’ Mike Rizzo has been one of the best general managers in baseball since taking over for Jim Bowden in March of 2009. Rizzo is largely credited with building the Nationals’ strong farm system, as well as the big-league squad that led all of baseball in wins in 2012.
May 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
But according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Rizzo could leave when his contract expires after the 2015 season.
Friends of Rizzo tell Rosenthal that Rizzo is “not afraid” to leave the Nationals if he isn’t receiving good pay. The current free agent class of 2015 is headlined by Clayton Kershaw, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, etc., but Rizzo could very well become a popular free agent as well for teams seeking new leadership.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported earlier this week that Nationals ownership have not begun talks with Rizzo about a new contract. The Nationals exercised Rizzo’s 2014 option in April, but Kilgore notes that while this was widely regarded as a reward, it could’ve ultimately hurt the team’s relationship with its general manager by extending him on their own terms.
Rizzo has undeniably played a large role in getting the Nationals to the playoff-contending status they’ve reached over the last season and a half. Hopefully ownership recognizes this and signs Rizzo to a deal that better-compensates him for the great work he’s done, and keeps in Washington for a very long time.