Mike Rizzo, the Nationals‘ general manager and architect of a 98-win, NL East-championship team, was named the Executive of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday.
Rizzo, a former scout who joined the Nationals in 2006 as assistant general manager, oversaw a change in the Nationals fortunes with shrewd moves, a renewed focus on scouting and player development department and successful drafts. Among his notable acquisitions were trading for Gio Gonzalez last winter and Kurt Suzuki during the season, and securing the signings of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. The Nationals saw an 18-win improvement last season, the first playoff appearance by a Washington baseball team in 79 years and their first-ever division title. He had a hand in signing, drafting or trading for 20 of the 25 players on the Nationals’ playoff roster.
Rizzo will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Boston on Jan. 24. The award has been presented annually since 1967 by the Boston chapter, and is one of the few local chapters to still present individual awards. Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels claimed the award last season.
Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane was named the Executive of the Year by Sporting News earlier this month based on votes by fellow baseball executives. Rizzo finished second.