Nats give Rizzo extension

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals on Tuesday awarded general manager Mike Rizzo with a five-year contract extension and promoted him to executive vice president of baseball operations.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Mike Rizzo is unquestionably one of the best baseball minds in the game," said managing principal owner Theodore N. Lerner. "He has a unique ability to see player talent for what it is, what it can be, and how it fits into building a team. Mike has been one of the architects of the rebuilding of the entire Nationals player system, from scouting, to player development, to big league signings. We believe the talent foundation we are establishing on and off the field will make the Nationals one of baseball's most exciting teams over the next several seasons."

Rizzo came to the Nationals in 2006 as assistant GM and took over most of the day-to-day duties after Jim Bowden resigned as Washington's general manager during spring training last year. He became the full-time GM in August 2009.

In four MLB First-Year Player Drafts under Rizzo, the Nationals have added highly regarded talent such as top overall picks, right-hander Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and outfielder Bryce Harper in 2010.

Strasburg started 12 games and went 5-3 with a 2.91 earned run average with 92 strikeouts in 68 innings in 2010, but had his season cut short when he suffered a ligament tear in his pitching arm that required Tommy John surgery.

Washington showed the fourth-best improvement in the majors this season, increasing its win total from 59 to 69 victories. Only San Diego (+15), Cincinnati (+13) and Tampa Bay (+12) were better.


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