WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Washington Nationals announced Thursday that Mike Rizzo has signed a new, long-term contract with the team and has been promoted to the position of President of Baseball Operations and General Manager.

Rizzo, who was appointed General Manager in 2009 after serving as Assistant GM since 2006, is widely credited with building one of the strongest scouting operations in baseball and engineered a player development system considered one of the best in the sport, taking the minor league system from last place to first in four short seasons.  His major league roster won the National League East title last season.

“Upon purchasing the Nationals, Mike Rizzo was our first hire and he has performed brilliantly,” stated principal owner Theodore Lerner in a statement. “We started with an idea about how baseball teams should be built and he translated it into a reality far faster than many could have imagined.  He knows the game, the players, and is a true professional.  Under his direct leadership, the Nationals have become one of the most exciting and respected young teams in baseball.”

“I am truly proud to be a part of the Washington Nationals and excited to be able to continue what we’ve started here,” Rizzo said. “The task of building this club from nearly expansion level – at both the minor and major league level – has been challenging, but the Lerner family has been nothing but supportive.  We’ve made significant progress toward our goal of competing for a World Series Championship, and I intend to do everything in my power to one day hand that trophy to Mr. Lerner at Nationals Park.  We’ve still got work to do, but I am pleased that ownership trusts me to get it done.”

In November of 2012, after winning the NL East division, Rizzo was named Executive of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

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