Baseball America has named Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ general manager and president of operations, the Baseball Executive of the Year.
The honor comes after a 93-69 (.574) season that delivered the franchise’s first World Series Championship.
It’s the first time Rizzo has received the award.
Before the 2019 season, Rizzo signed many key players to the roster that led to the Commissioner’s Trophy. He added starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, who pitched in five wins in the postseason, including two in the World Series. The team also added veteran catchers Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, first baseman Matt Adams and second baseman Brian Dozier.
During the season, which had a rocky start (a 19-31 record in late May), he signed Javy Guerra, Fernando Rodney and Gerardo Parra, whose walk-up song “Baby Shark” became the team’s anthem later in the season.
Before the trade deadline in August, he also shored up the bullpen by trading for three pitchers without surrendering any Major League talent or prospects.
All these moves for veteran players assembled the oldest team in Major League Baseball — and a World Series.
“Mike was our first hire when the Lerner family was awarded ownership of the Nationals in 2006,” said Mark D. Lerner, the Nats’ managing principal owner, in a statement. “We knew then what the rest of the baseball community knows now — that he has an unparalleled commitment to winning and is one of the savviest baseball minds in the game.”
Rizzo has been with the Nationals since the team moved to D.C. in 2006, first serving as assistant general manager and vice president of baseball operations. He was promoted to his current position in 2009.
Since 2012, the Nationals have been 730-566 (.562), the second-best regular season record in Major League Baseball over this span.