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Rizzo may be out as Nats' acting GM

Rizzo may be out as Nats' acting GM

WASHINGTON -- A day after the Nationals signed their No. 1 Draft pick, Stephen Strasburg, to a record contract, it appears that acting general manager Mike Rizzo has not secured that role for the longer term.

According to YahooSports.com, the Nationals are expected to name Jerry DiPoto of Arizona as GM.

The move reportedly could happen within the next 24 hours. Rizzo was talking to local media on Tuesday about Strasburg and didn't give any indication that the role he filled on a temporary basis had been earned by another candidate. Subsequent calls placed to Rizzo about his future were not immediately returned.

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In March, the Nationals named Rizzo acting general manager, two days after Jim Bowden resigned from the GM position. Rizzo has handled responsibilities related to the Major League, Minor League and scouting operations of the organization. Day-to-day inquiries related to player personnel have been directed to Rizzo, with team president Stan Kasten having key hands-on involvement.

Since taking the job, Rizzo has managed to help make upgrades to the bullpen by adding Mike McDougal, Jorge Sosa and Ron Villone and gained authorization to acquire outfielder Nyjer Morgan and left-hander Sean Burnett from the Pirates for outfielder Lastings Milledge and right-hander Joel Hanrahan. That deal has played out initially as a considerably favorable one for the Nationals. He also has been in place during a switch at manager that resulted in better performance this month.

Rizzo, as expected for any person in his role, was a visible figure in the efforts to get Strasburg signed before Monday's midnight ET deadline.

Rizzo called it an emotional -- and, in the end, an exciting -- day for the organization, and all involved in the process for the franchise said they felt strongly that signing Strasburg was an important step toward making the club a nearer-term factor in the National League East.

"He is a fireballing right-handed pitcher who has a very bright future," Rizzo said. "He is the most coveted amateur player in the history of the Draft.

"We are proud to have him in the organization. We are happy to add him to a growing list of young starting pitchers. It's a big day for the Washington Nationals. It's a big day for the fans of Washington, D.C."

As for DiPoto, he was competing against Rizzo and Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer, who was at Nationals Park last week for an interview. DiPoto currently is vice president of player personnel for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

DiPoto, 41, was a Major League pitcher from 1993 to 2000, having played for the Indians, Mets and Rockies.

Efforts to reach DiPoto for this story were not successful.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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