After it was reported Monday night the Washington Nationals reversed course and were in talks with Dusty Baker for him to become manager, the club formally announced the hire of Baker Tuesday morning.
Baker becomes the Nationals’ sixth full-time manager in franchise history. Less than one week ago it was reported former San Diego Padres skipper Bud Black would fill the vacancy in the nation’s capital.
However, Black and the Nationals couldn’t agree on terms of a contract, which led to Baker re-emerging. Baker returns to the dugout after last managing the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.
He led Cincinnati to a 90-72 record that season and berth in the Wild Card game, but was fired after losing the one-game playoff to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Reds won the National League 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 San Francisco Giants from 1993-2002, and Chicago Cubs from 2003-06. He replaces Matt Williams, who was fired on Oct. 5 after a disappointing 83-79 record in just his second season as Nationals manager.
With Black still available and the Los Angeles Dodgers managerial position the final opening in the Majors, there could be talks between the two parties. Black was speculated as being among the candidates the Dodgers would consider prior to his preliminary agreement with the Nationals.
That being said, the belief is Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler remains the frontrunner for the vacancy. It was reported on Tuesday the Dodgers interviewed San Diego Padres bench coach Dave Roberts.
Roberts joined the Padres front office in 2010 and was quickly moved to first base coach on Black’s staff. Roberts then served as Black’s bench coach the last two seasons.