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Nationals give GM Rizzo new deal, promotion

<p>The Washington Nationals have awarded general manager Mike Rizzo with a new long-term contract and promoted him to the added position of president of baseball operations.</p>

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - The Washington Nationals have awarded general manager Mike Rizzo with a new long-term contract and promoted him to the added position of president of baseball operations.

The Nationals, who didn't play Thursday, didn't have the length of the deal.

Rizzo came to the Nationals in 2006 as assistant GM and became the full-time GM in August 2009. During his tenure, he was responsible for adding highly- regarded talent such as top overall picks, right-hander Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and outfielder Bryce Harper in 2010.

"Upon purchasing the Nationals, Mike Rizzo was our first hire and he has performed brilliantly," Theodore Lerner said. "We started with an idea about how baseball teams should be built and he translated it into a reality far faster than many could have imagined. He knows the game, the players, and is a true professional. Under his direct leadership, the Nationals have become one of the most exciting and respected young teams in baseball."

The Nationals won the NL East last season and this year the team is 52-56 and in second place in the division, 11 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves.

"I am truly proud to be a part of the Washington Nationals and excited to be able to continue what we've started here," Rizzo said. "The task of building this club from nearly expansion level - at both the minor and major league level - has been challenging, but the Lerner family has been nothing but supportive. We've made significant progress toward our goal of competing for a World Series championship, and I intend to do everything in my power to one day hand that trophy to Mr. Lerner at Nationals Park. We've still got work to do, but I am pleased that ownership trusts me to get it done."

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