Over the weekend, the Washington Nationals extended General Manager Mike Rizzo's contract through 2018, signaling both their pleasure at his performance and their desire for stability throughout the remainder of their competitive window. Rizzo assumed control of the Nationals just before the start of the 2009 season and is ultimately responsible for every aspect of the Nationals club currently leading the NL East.
Buoyed by two consecutive first overall picks in his first two seasons on the job, Rizzo didn't' miss with either of them, taking Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. He also snagged Drew Storen and Michael Taylor in that first draft. In 2010, he turned Matt Capps and Cristian Guzman into Wilson Ramos and Tanner Roark, respectively. In 2011, he drafted Anthony Rendon and Alex Meyer, the latter of whom he later flipped for Denard Span. Before 2012, he made a giant deal with the A's to bring in Gio Gonzalez and give the Nats a crazily impressive rotation, and then made a risky pick to get Lucas Giolito in the first round of the amateur draft. He got Doug Fister for very little before the 2014 season. And prior to the 2015 season, he picked up Joe Ross and Trea Turner for Steven Souza in a three team deal. Even the trade for Jonathan Papelbon wasn't bad in theory.
Rizzo has consistently gotten the better end of trades, and has drafted incredibly productively. His free agent pickups and contract extensions have been more dicey. The Jayson Werth deal has been, really valuable in 2012-2014, has seriously compromising the Nats' chances last year and this year. The Ryan Zimmerman deal is a disaster. Daniel Murphy, on the other hand, is an offensive force at the moment, and may wind up being the best free agent acquisition any club made this offseason. He also, historically, has had trouble choosing and dealing with a manager. Dusty Baker is the fifth guy to work in earnest under Rizzo since 2009, and the GM hand picked Matt Williams before him.
What that means though, is that this Nats team is, more than anyone else's Rizzo's handiwork. Look on it and tremble. Given where they are now, and his success at keeping most of his core together, he deserves this opportunity to stick around and finish what he started in Washington. He's proven to be an excellent judge of talent, and one of the most effective GMs in the game.
He's not the only GM out there, though, who deserves that courtesy. Here are two more guys who have earned an extension based on this, and the last couple, years:
The Mets GM has been on the job since October 2010. After a few years of treading water while dealing with the fallout of the Wilpons' money problems, Alderson's skills have finally shown through in the last two years. On the one hand, he's benefiting from Omar Minaya's incredible 2010 draft, which netted both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, and 2009's, which brought in Steven Matz. But Alderson made the R.A. Dickey deal with the Blue Jays to get Syndergaard and d'Arnaud. He picked Michael Conforto. He resigned David Wright, traded for Neil Walker, and found a way to bring back Yoenis Cespedes. Alderson is universally respected as one of the best GMs of the last 30 years, maybe even one of the best of all time. He's only signed until the end of 2017, so now would be a good time to reward him for good behavior, especially with the Mets again in the hunt for another postseason spot.
I'll admit, I have no idea how long Rick Hahn is under contract for. It doesn't seem like anyone does. He was promoted to GM before 2013, and may have earned an extension somewhere along the way, although I can't really imagine why. But so many of his moves from the last couple years are paying dividends for the Sox right now. Brett Lawrie has come into his own. Todd Frazier is hitting. Melky Cabrera is an on-base machine. Jimmy Rollins is a massive upgrade and stabilizing force at shortstop. David Robertson and Matt Albers are unhittable, and Mat Latos is magically effective. Adam Eaton, Carlos Rodon, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, and essentially the whole bullpen are all his acquisitions as well. At 24-14, the White Sox have the best record in the American League, and no matter how much longer Hahn is signed for, tacking on a couple extra years to give Hahn some security seems incredibly appropriate, even this early in the season.