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Nats extend general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez to 23

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WASHINGTON — Dave Martinez and Mike Rizzo are signed through the 2023 season after the Washington Nationals exercised their contract options for the World Series-winning manager and general manager.

Principal owner Mark Lerner announced the changes on Saturday ahead of the team’s 80th game in a season that has already gone 50 losses. Martinez and Rizzo are now overseeing a rebuilding effort after helping the Nationals win their first championship in 2019.

“I’m just very happy to be here and to be able to go all the way,” Martinez said. “This is my home. I really like it here. I like the people I work with.”

Getting Martinez and Rizzo under contract is of particular importance given the anticipated change in ownership the franchise is facing. The Lerner family began exploring selling the Nationals in April.

“I think it brings some continuity not only to this organization but also to the players, which is good,” Martinez said. “It’s good to know that we are going to be together and that we are going to continue to work as we do.”

Lerner said it was fair to move forward with Martinez, who was hired after the 2017 season, and Rizzo, who is in his 14th year leading the club’s baseball operations.

“Mike has guided us through many different phases of our organization, and we believe his work during this current phase will eventually pay off,” Lerner said in a statement. “Davey has done a terrific job at the clubhouse and in the dugout for five seasons. His continued determination and unwavering support for his players makes us proud. »

The biggest question facing the Nationals now is the future of superstar outfielder Juan Soto. Although Martinez has acknowledged that many of his current players will not be with the team when he returns, Soto, soon to be 24, has become the face of the franchise and efforts are underway to sign him long-term. – long before he could become a free agent after the 2024 season.

Martinez might not be around that long if the new owner makes any significant changes, but he was glad Washington’s coaching staff all got two-year contracts when he was hired. Now he and Rizzo should be back as well.

“I couldn’t see myself doing this without Rizz,” Martinez said. “He guided me through my first year here through thick and thin. He is like a brother to me.

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