Nationals sign GM Rizzo to five-year extension

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Washington Nationals have signed general manager Mike Rizzo to a five-year contract extension that includes naming him executive vice president of baseball operations, the team said Tuesday.

"Mike Rizzo is unquestionably one of the best baseball minds in the game," managing principal owner Ted Lerner said in a statement on the team's website (

"He has a unique ability to see player talent for what it is, what it can be, and how it fits into building a team."

The Nationals increased their win total to 69 this season, 10 more than in 2009.

Pitcher Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper, both number one draft picks, and pitchers Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann and infielder Danny Espinosa were all signed during Rizzo's tenure as general manager.

He joined the Nationals as an assistant general manager in 2006 and became the permanent general manager in 2009.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Ginsburg)