After Team President Mike Rizzo’s contract was extended, he claimed his first order of business was to get an extension done with Dave Martinez and he did just that.
Yesterday, it was announced that Dave Martinez had signed a three-year extension with the team worth $7.5 million. This will keep the team’s skipper in D.C., who had an option for next year, till at least 2023.
Martinez, who took over as the team’s manager in 2018, has had an interesting tenure. When he took over in 2018, the National’s were coming off of a 97 win season which culminated in the team’s fourth straight first-round exit. So how did Martinez do in his first season? Under his leadership the Nationals floundered and finished with a disappointing 82-80 season, missing the playoffs. The face of the franchise Bryce Harper left in free agency and the team was left trying to define themselves.
Entering the 2019 season, Washington still had a strong core in place led by an elite rotation, and were still favorites to make it back to the playoffs. Well, injuries galore and an abysmal bullpen led to the team starting off the season 19-31. Rumors were flying that the Nationals would start a firesale and fans wanted Martinez’s head on a pike. So what happened? Rizzo stood by his man and Martinez’s calm demeanor allowed him to right the ship. The team’s core returned from injuries at the perfect time, which led to Washington going on a furious run. They finished the season 93-69 and clinched the first Wild Card spot.
What happened next was the team going on an amazing run which ended in the franchise winning their first-ever World Series title. Martinez’s team went 5-0 in elimination games along the way. After winning the title, the Nationals were favorites battle the Atlanta Braves for the NL East title. Instead, key injuries to Starlin Castro and Stephen Strasburg, plus the offense disappearing for long stretches at a time, have led to D.C. once again missing the playoffs.
So far in 381 games as the Nationals manager, Martinez is 198-183 which is a bit troubling. At times, despite such a talented roster, Martinez’s team has struggled more than they should. However, he was able to get the team over the hump which has led to his extension.