With the final guaranteed year on his contract almost halfway over, the Nationals have yet to approach Manager Jim Riggleman about his uncertain contract status, said Burton Rocks, Riggleman’s agent.
During spring training, Rocks said he hoped to reach an agreement on some kind of extension for Riggleman — either the team’s 2012 option or a multi-year deal — by Father’s Day. Even though Rocks has yet to discuss Riggleman’s status for next season with General Manager Mike Rizzo, he remained confident the Nationals will eventually decide to bring Riggleman back.
“I think we’re all on the same page,” Rocks said. “I just think the timetable is different. That’s their prerogative. I just would like it to happen sooner than later. I think that the Lerners and Mike view Jim as their long-term answer. I just think their timetable for drafting an extension might be different than our timetable.”
This offseason, the Nationals chose to bring Riggleman back for $600,000 rather than pay him a $100,000 buyout. The Nationals can exercise a team option to bring Riggleman back for the 2012 season, again at $600,000. With Edwin Rodriguez having resigned as the Marlins’ manager, Riggleman is believed to be the lowest-paid manager in baseball.
Riggleman declined to comment on his contract status. Rizzo has remained mum on the subject, saying he has confidence in Riggleman and he will address the contract matter when the time is right.
With his future uncertain, Riggleman has managed the Nationals to their best record at this stage of the season of the season since 2005. With Stephen Strasburg out for the season and Ryan Zimmerman having played just 14 games, the Nationals have gone 35-37 on the strength of the eight-game winning streak that ended Sunday.
At the 2009 all-star break, Riggleman took over the Nationals with a 26-61 record. As Riggleman has overseen steadily improved personnel, the Nationals have gone 137-172 since he took over.