By Chris Lingebach

Mike Rizzo understands the value he’s brought to the Washington Nationals.

In an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, the Nationals General Manager and President of Baseball Operations took a rare step, in speaking candidly about his personal contract situation in lieu of other club-related matters.

At 57, Rizzo, coming off his fourth NL East title in six years, is already entrenched in the final year of his five-year, $10 million contract, the details of which are publicized in Nightengale’s story. Rizzo is earning $2.5 million in the final year of the deal, which is set to expire Oct. 31, although he aspires to be paid like the elite players at his position, the architects of the best organizations in baseball.

“When you look at what we accomplished,” Rizzo told Nightengale, “it’s really unsung and underappreciated. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished here. I like it here. I love the city. I love the team I put together. I like being a GM in the NL East. And I want to stay here. I just think I deserve to be treated like some of the best GMs in the game are, too.”

“I know we haven’t won the World Series, but I get tired of hearing how we can’t win the big one, or we can’t get out of the first round. We haven’t had that many chances,” he said. “We were without baseball for 35 years here, and we cranked it up pretty good.”

“No, we haven’t won a World Series, and in the real world, regular-season stats don’t mean [expletive], but you look at our consistency of excellence, knowing what it takes to win, and I think we’ve exemplified that,” he said. “We’re pretty damn good at what we do.”

There’s already a chance the Nationals lose Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in 2018. To also lose the person most responsible for putting an entire team around them, the iterations of which have made Washington the winningest organization in baseball since 2012, would be an absolute tragedy.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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