The Nationals have signed manager Dave Martinez to an extension that will keep him in Washington beyond 2021, when his contract had been set to expire, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was the first to report on Friday afternoon:
The Nationals and Dave Martinez have agreed to an extension that will keep him in Washington beyond 2021, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. @JonHeyman was first to report.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) September 25, 2020
Full details of the extension have not yet been released.
Despite having one of the league’s best and deepest pools of talent over the last three seasons, he Nationals have been quite inconsistent under Martinez, finishing a disappointing 82-80 and missing the playoffs in his first year at the helm in 2018 and posting a disappointing 23-34 record — which will almost assuredly result in a last-place finish — this year. Fortunately for Martinez, the Nationals rebounded from a horrid start to finish 93-69 and win the first World Series in franchise history during the second season of his managerial tenure, giving him some significant job security.
While it wasn’t a sure thing that this extension would happen given that Nationals ownership has been notably frugal and impatient in regards to keeping managers around — Martinez is the first manager to last at least three full seasons in DC since Frank Robinson, who skippered the team from 2002-06 — they’re likely giving him a mulligan on this season given that key contributors like Joe Ross and Ryan Zimmerman opted out due to COVID-19 concerns, Juan Soto missed time after testing positive (and possibly receiving a false result) for COVID-19, and major pieces such as Sean Doolittle, Stephen Strasburg, Starlin Castro, and Howie Kendrick were held back by injuries.