Washington Nationals News: Nats In Talks With Dusty Baker For Manager Position


During the World Series, it was reported that the Washington Nationals had decided on Bud Black to be the sixth manager in the franchise’s history. Now that the World Series is over, fans had been waiting for Black to get his introductory press conference and to pick his staff. But, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and MLB Network, the Nats have been unable to agree to a deal for Black and are going to offer the position to Dusty Baker

"“In a stunning twist, the Nationals manager job wasn’t as completely settled as was reported, and word is, the club has reached out to Dusty Baker and will offer him the job.”"

Baker was a finalist for the position along with Black. The main reason why this change might happen is because of problems with the contract. James Wagner of the Washington Post tweeted yesterday that details in the contract for Black had not been decided:

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Baker, who has been a manager for the Giants, Reds, and Cubs in his career, did meet with ownership during the interview process, but it is a little surprising that the second thought could happen after nearly a week since this news was reported.

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However, is this news that much of a surprise if money is truly involved in the process? On Saturday afternoon, Heyman had some interesting news involving the Nationals and Don Mattingly, who was introduced as the new manager of the Miami Marlins yesterday. Here’s a quote:

"“An intermediary on behalf of Don Mattingly was said to have investigated a possible candidacy for manager there before he agreed to become Marlins manager, but word came back through the intermediary, “We can’t afford Don Mattingly.” Whether the Nats were just being polite isn’t known, but it seems like they were negotiating hard and hoping to keep the manager below $2 million per year, perhaps well below.”"

Personally, I don’t think the Nats can go wrong with either Baker or Black as the manager since Baker has proven he can win at any destination. Black could’ve been looking for more years on the deal and the Nats might not have been willing to work out a long-term deal.

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This will be an interesting development to keep an eye on especially since the GM meetings are next Monday in Florida and you would think that the organization will want to have their manager decided by then. If Baker ends up being the manager, it would still be a good hire, but there will be more questions about how he handles starting pitchers.