Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo’s connection to his hometown of Chicago and his success in building the Nationals through the draft makes him an intriguing candidate and natural fit for the Chicago Cubs’ vacant general manager position. Some of his family still lives in the area, and the Cubs would be interested in the hometown boy, too. He is “definitely” on their wish list, one baseball source said.
Rizzo, though, is already where he wants to be, period. He signed a five-year contract with the Nationals last offseason, and today he squashed any speculation about him changing teams and taking over his hometown team. He’s not going anywhere.
“I grew up on Waveland Avenue for 30 years, right down the street from the ballpark,” Rizzo said. “And there’s nowhere I’d rather be than the Washington Nationals right now, with where we’re at and what we’re doing and the commitment that the Lerners have shown to me. They’re my hometown team. They were my team growing up. I went to many, many games there. But this is the place I need to be.”
Rizzo took over the Nationals on an interim basis at the start of the 2009 season following Jim Bowden’s resignation in the wake of a signing bonus scandal in the Dominican Republic. Rizzo took over as the full-time GM halfway through that season, shortly after signing Stephen Strasburg. The Lerner family gave Rizzo a five-year contract extension and added to his title Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations
The Cubs job opened last month after owner Tom Ricketts fired Jim Hendry and replaced him on an interim basis with Randy Bush.