Potential sale of Nationals caught Mike Rizzo, others in front office by surprise

By , Audacy

It was a surprise around the baseball world Tuesday when news came out that the Lerner family was considering selling the Washington Nationals.

Folks within the Nationals organization were among those surprised, too.

Ted Lerner acquired the team in 2006, shortly after they left Montreal, and handed over team control to Mark Lerner in 2018. Mark Lerner emphasized to the Washington Post that they were only in the exploratory stages, but the investment group hired by the Lerner’s were the same ones who handled the sale of the New York Mets to Steve Cohen.

Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told “The Sports Junkies” Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan that the news caught him by surprise.

“I was pretty surprised, yeah. It was taken by surprise by me and a lot of other people in the office, but it doesn’t affect what I do and what we’re doing and what we’re trying to accomplish,” Rizzo, who on a scale of 1-10 put his level of surprise at a seven or eight, said. “Mark and the Lerner family have been such a supportive ownership group over the years, so I don’t feel – we’re going to do our thing. We’ve got our blueprint, and we’ve got our plan in place to do what we’re supposed to do and that’s not going to change anything about how we run the team or how we handle our day-to-day business.”

As for who will be interested in the Nationals, that’s not entirely clear. One early suitor, sources told The Sports Junkies’ Jason Bishop, is Monumental Sports Group owner Ted Leonsis, who owns, among other teams, the Washington Capitals and Wizards.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports Images