Washington Nationals: D’Backs Interested In Interviewing Mike Rizzo
Yesterday, there was a report from Jim Bowden that the Diamondbacks have Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo at the top of their list for President of Baseball Operations
The Washington Nationals were able to take a 2-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS yesterday. However, that wasn’t the only news of the day involving the Nats. During Game 3, Jim Bowden of ESPN reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks have Nats general manager Mike Rizzo at the top of their list to be their next President of Baseball Operations. Here is some of what Bowden had to say:
“According to a source close to the Diamondbacks ownership. Mike Rizzo the Nationals GM is at the top of their list to be their next President of Baseball Operations and plan on asking permission from the Nationals at the conclusion of the Nationals post-season.”
Before Rizzo was hired in Washington as the assistant GM to Bowden, he was the scouting director for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2000-2006. Of course, Rizzo has done a good job of building the Washington Nationals from the bottom up as they have won three National League East titles in the last five years.
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When you look at the situation in Arizona, they are looking to hire Rizzo to lead what appears to be a reset for the organization. Back on October 3, the Diamondbacks fired general manager Dave Stewart, manager Chip Hale, and Tony La Russa is no longer the team’s chief baseball officer.
If you look at the Diamondbacks situation, it makes sense they would want to hire Rizzo to start the rebuilding process. He is familiar with the Arizona organization and there is talent on that team such as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, center fielder A.J. Pollock, and starting pitcher Zack Greinke. But, they finished this year with a 69-93 record and were one of the more disappointing teams in baseball.
However, Arizona’s farm system isn’t one of the best in baseball. Their farm system took a hit last winter when they dealt away top pick Dansby Swanson and their center fielder (Ender Inciarte) to the Braves for Shelby Miller. Rizzo has helped the Washington Nationals build up their farm system, including drafting core players like Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburg (to name a few).
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With that being said, the Washington Nationals did pick up Rizzo’s two-year option back in June. As Bowden noted, the Diamondbacks have to ask the Washington Nationals for permission to interview him.
If the Diamondbacks were to eventually hire Rizzo, he would be a great fit for their organization. However, Rizzo has built a good thing in Washington D.C. as he hopes this year’s team can bring home the World Series. If he were to leave, that would be a tough pill to swallow for the Washington Nationals.