Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals front office: A mid-season grade

Nov 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo answers questions from the media during the MLB GM Meetings at The Conrad Las Vegas. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo answers questions from the media during the MLB GM Meetings at The Conrad Las Vegas. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mike Rizzo.  James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Rizzo.  James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports /

Overall

Rizzo’s numerous forays into free agency (usually for second-tier or dated talent) have failed to help the Nationals and they’ve also undermined his mid-term rating. The high notes (particularly Candelario) were pretty good. But there were too many flops on the level of Kuhl, Smith and Chris Dickerson.

Here’s the first-half report card on the Nationals front office. Note that grades for players departing the organization are based on the reverse of those players’ WAAs with their new teams.

Mode                    WAA               Grade

Acquired              -0.6                       C

Traded                    0.0                       C

Signed                  -2.7                       D

FA Lost                 -1.3                       B

Rookies                -0.2                       C

Overall                 -2.2                       D

Rizzo made only 19 personnel decisions involving 2023 MLB players, a relatively low number compared with his peers. But only six of those 23 have worked to Washington’s advantage; 10 were negative and three were neutral.

For Rizzo, the more indictable offense is that it’s difficult to imagine any of his additions playing a central role in the Nats’ future growth. Or do you think Stone Garrett or Michael Chavis is suddenly going to grow into something he has not so far demonstrated the ability to be?

The principal job for a Nationals general manager this season has been to obtain future talent. It’s not clear that Rizzo has accomplished that.

dark. Next. Staying in the East and grading Philadelphia's front office