Nationals agree to contract extension with manager Dave Martinez, per report

MLB: NLDS-Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have agreed to a contract extension with manager Dave Martinez, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.  The Nationals have struggled this season, as they’re presently 23-34, in last place in the NL East, and have been eliminated from playoff contention. However, the Nats under Martinez won the World Series in 2019 for the first time in franchise history, and that’s earned Martinez quite a bit of leeway. 

As well, GM Mike Rizzo, who hired Martinez to replace Dusty Baker, was himself extended earlier this year. Martinez’s current two-year contract was set to expire at the end of the current season.

Martinez, who turns 56 on Saturday, has guided the Nationals to a 198-183 record across parts of the three seasons, including the 2020 regular season, which was abbreviated to just 60 games because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, Martinez guided the Nationals to 93 wins in the regular season and, as noted, the World Series title — a taut seven-game triumph over the Astros

The team’s struggles in 2020 are in part attributable to injuries, particularly to Stephen Strasburg, and the free agent departure of third baseman Anthony Rendon. However, with young to young-ish core players like Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Victor Robles, Luis Garcia, and Carter Kieboom still in the fold, the Nats have the makings of a rebound in 2021 and beyond. It will continue being Martinez’s job to get the team to realize that potential. 

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