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The Nationals need to make a Mike Rizzo decision by June 15

Monday's Say Hey, Baseball includes Mike Rizzo's weird option, Jose Bautista's mascot workout and the David Freese signing.

Washington Nationals Introduce Dusty Baker Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

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Mike Rizzo's contract goes through the end of 2016. However, the general manager of the Nationals has an option in his contract that needs to be picked by or declined by June 15. That might not sound like such a big deal on the surface, but it's a weird option: it's not just for the 2017 season, but also for 2018. The Nats have to decide if they want to have three more years of Rizzo at the helm, or if it's time for a change in the front office.

Removing Rizzo from power seemed unthinkable even a year ago, but his situation is "tenuous," according to Nats' beat writer Adam Kilgore. The 2015 season was an ugly one, between the disappointing finish, wasting Bryce Harper's breakout campaign, Jonathan Papelbon choking Harper in the dugout, and the Bud Black hiring fiasco after the firing of Rizzo's handpicked manager, Matt Williams, that eventually resulted in hiring Dusty Baker. Dumping Rizzo after one poor year would seem hasty, but Washington's ownership isn't exactly known for their helpfulness when it comes to decision making, and the option being for 2018 as well clouds things.

The Nats could very well renegotiate a deal before June 15 so that it doesn't include 2018, but it's also possible that Rizzo's team could play him out of a job before that deadline -- it's "unlikely" that they let him be a lame duck after June 15. So, the start to the Nats' season might be the key -- Rizzo might just have to hope the Nats don't choke. You know, in any sense of that word.