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Nationals give Rizzo new deal to continue rebuild

The Washington Nationals have agreed to a multiyear contract extension with president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo, the team announced Wednesday.

The new deal with Rizzo, whose contract had been set to expire after the season, allows him to continue the Nationals’ rebuilding effort on the field.

Rizzo, 62, is in his 15th year running the team’s baseball operations. He said in a statement that he loves being part of the Nationals organization.

“We believe we are developing the next generation of contenders and champions,” Rizzo said. “We deeply believe in our process and in our progress. The next few years are going to be ones no Nationals fan will want to miss.”

The Nationals won the 2019 World Series behind a core that included Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner, but they have finished last in the National League East each season since and enter Wednesday 1½ games behind the New York Mets to avoid doing so for a fourth straight year.

However, at 65-80, Washington has already improved upon its 55-win total from the 2022 season.

“Together with my family and the entire Nationals staff, we’ve always shared the same dream: to make the Washington Nationals a team that our fans could love and be proud of,” Nationals owner Mark Lerner said in a statement. “We have all worked collectively to build what was essentially an expansion team with no Major League depth into a contender, and then into a World Series champion. We’ve experienced some tough losing seasons and we’ve hung championship banners, and we’ve done it all together.

“We are once again hard at work to build a championship contender in D.C.”

Rizzo has attempted to revamp the roster since its title run. The Nationals shipped Scherzer and Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 2021 trade deadline and netted two key building blocks in return: 2023 All-Star pitcher Josiah Gray and catcher Keibert Ruiz. Soto was also sent the San Diego Padres for a package that included current starting shortstop CJ Abrams.

Strasburg has not pitched for Washington since June 2022 and is set to retire, though a news conference that was reportedly set for Saturday did not take place.

The agreement with Rizzo follows a multiyear extension the Nationals reached with manager Dave Martinez that was announced Aug. 22.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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