Washington Nationals News: Nats have their manager, what’s next?


Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post discusses what the plan should be for the Nationals now that they have reportedly decided to hire Bud Black as their next manager. As Svrluga notes, hiring Black is a key move for the Nationals but it can’t be the only big move they make this offseason.

The team drastically underperformed in 2015 and, by the end of the season, had completely collapsed both on the field and in the clubhouse. Hiring a new manager was the first step to getting the Nationals back on track, but the team also needs to address the other issues that ultimately led to a disastrous 2015 campaign.

As Svrluga writes in his article, the Nationals will need to make decisions at key positions, such as catcher and center field. The team also needs to rebuild the bullpen and could potentially look to trade players such as Yunel Escobar to bring back pieces that will fix last year’s biggest weakness.

The Nationals also have several players hitting free agency this offseason and will have to decide if they move forward with the players they already have in-house or look to the free agent/trade market to make up for the loss of Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister and Denard Span.

The Nationals will introduce Black as their manager after the World Series. What they do — or don’t do — between that press conference and Spring Training could determine the team’s success or failure in 2016 and beyond.

Also in today’s Daily, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post discusses some interesting comments made by former Padres GM Kevin Towers on why he believes Black will be successful as the Nats’ skipper.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Hiring Bud Black is a big move. It can’t be the Nationals’ only move.

(Barry Svrluga, Washington Post)

NEW YORK — The hiring of Bud Black, when it is announced after the World Series, will be rightly viewed as a step forward for the Washington Nationals. This is how such moves are viewed in Washington, whether the new guy is Manny Acta or Adam Oates, Jim Zorn or Jay Gruden, Matt Williams or Mike Shanahan. Regardless of his resume, the new guy represents hope and change, and given the acrid taste that still lingers from a season that closed less than a month ago, that is indeed important.

But if Black’s hiring defines this offseason for the Nationals, then something has gone awry. This is a team that, by the declaration of General Manager Mike Rizzo, believes it can and will contend for a division championship every year. Read full article here.

Kevin Towers, the man who gave Bud Black his first manager’s job: ‘I think he’ll have huge success’

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

When then-Padres general manager Kevin Towers called to inquire about then-Angels pitching coach Bud Black after the 2006 season, Angels official Bill Stoneman told Towers that Black could do anything from coaching to managing to overseeing from the front office — maybe even still pitch, if San Diego needed him.

Perhaps fortunately, given that Black was 49 at the time, the Padres were not hunting for veteran starters at the time but for a manager to succeed Bruce Bochy. By then, Black had done everything but manage: He’d played 15 major league seasons, worked in Cleveland’s front office under well-respected, longtime executive John Hart, and been a pitching coach under Mike Scioscia, one of the more respected managers in the game. So Towers, GM since 1995, familiar with stalwart managers around the game, decided to make him the new Padres manager. Read full article here.