MLB Rumors: Nationals May Hire Dusty Baker As Manager, Not Bud Black
Mlb Rumors: Nationals May Hire Dusty Baker As Manager, Not Bud Black
Eric Risberg-AP Photo

In recent weeks the managerial vacancies across baseball were filled — both formally and informally — leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers as the final team without a skipper.

The Washington Nationals were among the teams needing to replace a manager after failing to meet expectations this season. After multiple interviews, the Nationals were said to have settled on Bud Black.

While the San Diego Padres officially introduced Andy Green as their next manager, and the Miami Marlins did the same with Don Mattingly on Monday, the Nationals had yet to formally announce their hire.

A change now has the Nationals leaning toward Dusty Baker, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

In a stunning twist, the Nationals manager job isn’t completely settled, and may still go to Dusty Baker and not Bud Black.The team was apparently leaning toward Baker today, according to people familiar with the situation.

The reverse in course is said to be due to Black and the Nationals being at odds over contractual terms:

Black was given an offer several days ago, but word is, it was a very lowball bid, and the sides had been going back and forth since Thursday.

Baker last managed in 2013, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 90-72 record and berth in the Wild Card game. At the time Major League Baseball only had one Wild Card game in each league, rather than the play-in format that’s currently in place.

The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Reds, and Baker was subsequently fired. His tenure in Cincinnati came to an end with a 509-463 record over six seasons as the Reds’ manager.

The Reds won the NL Central division in 2010 and 2012 under Baker, who is a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner; though all three came during his time as manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Prior to joining the Reds organization in October 2007, Baker managed the Giants from 1993-2002, and Chicago Cubs from 2003-2006.

Should the Nationals elect to hire Baker and not Black, it may have a domino effect on the Dodgers’ managerial search. While Baker wasn’t necessarily linked to the vacancy in Los Angeles, Black’s name was speculated as being part of the group of candidates.