2. Mike Rizzo
How about another shrewd executive mired in turmoil? Less than three years ago, the Washington Nationals were World Series champions. Now they’re without Juan Soto, who was expected to be a lifetime member of the franchise. Think that was president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo’s choice?
Nope! It was the Nationals’ current ownership prepping to sell the team without saddling the new buyers with a half-billion dollar investment on the books. That would’ve taken away from the Lerners’ profit! Can’t let that happen.
Once the deal is done, will Rizzo remain? Or will the new owners look in a different direction? Will he even want to stay if they opt to keep him? Rizzo is signed through 2023 alongside manager Dave Martinez, but perhaps the sale changes that.
The 61-year-old has been calling the shots in the nation’s capital since 2009, dug the team out of a 59-win season in 2008, and made them a playoff contender from 2012 to present day. He built the franchise’s first World Series roster from nothing, which is an astute accomplishment. He has the same amount of World Series titles as Cashman since taking over the Nats in his current role, too!
That said … does Rizzo want to do this all over again? Didn’t he perhaps have the expectation that if he were to build a contender, he’d get more money to invest in order to avoid this vicious rebuild cycle? The Yankees can offer him the same control Cashman has, which gives him more prestige, power and championship aspirations.
Rizzo’s frequently been viewed as an open-minded executive who loves to blend “baseball” with analytics, and the Yankees could use a refreshing change at the top with someone who has experience building from the ground up and possessing a big budget at times.