Coming off a disappointing 83-79 season as a World Series favorite and missing the playoffs, the Washington Nationals have kept busy this week.
They were criticized for how they handled their managerial search, which saw an agreement with Bud Black fall apart due to presenting the former San Diego Padres skipper with a lowball offer.
No matter, the Nationals quickly recovered and hired Dusty Baker on a multiyear deal. By Wednesday, the Nationals announced Mike Maddux will join Baker’s staff as pitching coach, a job he held with the Texas Rangers for the last seven seasons, and with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003-08.
Washington continued filling out their staff Thursday morning by naming Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach Davey Lopes to the same position. It’s a reunion for Baker and Lopes, as the two were teammates on the 1981 Dodgers team that won the World Series.
Lopes was the Dodgers’ first base coach from 2011 through last season, and held the same position with the Nationals under then-manager Frank Robinson in 2006.
Under Lopes, the Dodgers finished 10th in stolen bases in 2011, 17th in 2012 and 2013, second in 2014 and 26th last season. The Nationals ranked 27th in stolen bases in 2015 with 57.
Lopes’ career as a first base coach includes time with the Rangers (1988-91), Padres (1995-99 and 2003-05), Baltimore Orioles (1992-1994) and Philadelphia Phillies (2007-10).
Lopes becomes the first from last season’s Dodgers staff to officially get hired elsewhere. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed during a press conference on Oct. 22 the coaching contracts expired at season’s end.
As such, coaches were informed they were free to pursue other opportunities. “To the extent that something lines up for that makes sense to them and their family, we understand,” Friedman said.
“To the extent that they’re still available when we hire a manager, then obviously that will be a conversation we’ll have with the new manager at that time.”
Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach will join Don Mattingly’s Miami Marlins staff should he not be hired to fill the managerial vacancy in Los Angeles. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is said to be in talks for a multiyear deal to return with the Dodgers.