WASHINGTON – Dave Martinez spoke Saturday about managing the Washington Nationals for “many, many years” and over the “long term” and “quite some time,” thanks to his contract extension.
Sharing a table to a socially distanced degree with his manager on a video conference call to announce the new deal — each man sporting his 2019 World Series ring on his right hand — Nationals GM Mike Rizzo referred to the agreement's “multiyear” nature, but repeatedly refused to reveal anything more specific in response to reporters' questions.
“We don’t talk about terms as far as years, length and salaries and that type of thing. We’re comfortable with what we have and the consistency that we’re going to have down the road,” said Rizzo, who recently agreed to a three-year extension of his own. “That’s all we want to say about terms, because it’s private information and we don’t want you guys to know about it.”
When Martinez initially was hired by Rizzo in October 2017 — his first managing job at any level — the Nationals' news release at the time announced that he was given a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.
That 2021 option had not yet been picked up.
“The partnership that Davey and I have together, our communication styles are very similar. Our aspirations are similar, and kind of our mindset of how to obtain the goals that we want to obtain are similar. I think it’s a good match,” Rizzo said. “We couldn’t have hit on a more positive and enthusiastic leader in the clubhouse. I think you see it shine through even in the most trying times.”
The Nationals entered Saturday — Martinez’s 56th birthday — with a 23-34 record and in last place in the NL East, which Rizzo called “a disappointing season.” The team's title defense was slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.
World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg threw just five innings because of a nerve issue in his pitching hand and players such as Starlin Castro, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey, Adam Eaton and Carter Kieboom finished the year on the IL.