Team 980 and 95.9FM Nationals insider Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com joins The Morning Blitz with Al Galdi to give an in-depth preview of Nats Spring Training…
Mike Rizzo & Dave Martinez are both going into the final year of their contracts, will either or both guy’s contract situation be resolved during Spring Training or will this linger into the season?
“I think there’s a decent chance. As I wrote about two years with Rizzo, he entered the year with the same situation, his contract year. They negotiated in Spring Training and then on Opening Day they announced his new two-year deal, maybe that’s a road map for where this can go. From here certainly it’s the kind of thing you don’t want to have drag on for too long, so perhaps they can get something done there.
In Davey’s case it’s a little different because the club has an option on him for 2021, next year. So they could just say maybe now, or maybe down the road say ‘OK we’re picking up that option and sort of delaying this down the road’, and that’s fine it’s their right to do that. But after all these years, every two years of changing managers, Davey is going to become the longest tenured manager in Nationals history at two and a half years. Manny Acta has managed the most games in Nats history at 410, that’s not much at all. Davey has proven what he needs to prove, I mean is there any doubt that he should be the guy now for awhile? So, if it’s me and I’m ownership I’m saying let’s tear up the old deal right now, let’s work out a long term thing, three, four, five years, whatever it is. Yes, things can go wrong, you never know things can change over time, but for an organization that has had so much trouble all these years trying to find continuity in the managers office…you got your guy, he won the World Series, everybody loves him. He’s young, he’s not about to be at the retirement age or anything like that. It seems to me this would be a great opportunity to say, ‘We’re going to do thing differently now, lets lock up our manger and make sure this does not come up every two years again’.”
Is second base a competition or is that Starlin Castro’s?
“The sense what we’ve gotten here is that it is Starlin Castro’s job, that doesn’t mean he’s going to play everyday. You will see Howie Kendrick get some time at second. The interesting part of that to me is Asdrúbal Cabrera…he’s going to be in the mix at third base with Carter Kieboom, that’s the real competition.”
Are they rooting for Carter Keiboom to win the job at third base?
“That’s definitely the sense I get as well. Obviously, you have to evaluate everything and if it’s clear his bat is not ready then that would knock him out of the equation. But I think most agree that the bat is going to be fine.”
Who do you view to win the NL East this year?
“I think it’s pretty close between them (the Nats) and the Braves.”
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Nationals Insider Mark Zuckerman Discusses Mike Rizzo & Davey Martinez’s Contract Situations was originally published on theteam980.com