The Washington Nationals are set to name Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez their new manager, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported on Sunday morning.
Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post has since confirmed a three-year agreement between the Nationals and Martinez, with an option year included. An official announcement will be delayed until after the World Series as Washington intends to honor the league’s wishes of avoiding major announcements during the Fall Classic.
The reported hiring comes just nine days after Washington parted ways with Dusty Baker. Though if you believe Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, this deal was completed even quicker than that.
Congrats to former teammate Dave Martinez on the Nat 's job great baseball guy good luck
— Wade Boggs (@ChickenMan3010) October 27, 2017
The Nationals made the playoffs in both of Baker’s seasons, but saw no advancement in the postseason. Since moving to Washington in 2005, the Nationals have yet to advance beyond the NLDS. That’s despite making the postseason four times in the past six seasons.
The lack of advancement wasn’t entirely on Baker. In fact, very little probably was. But the Nationals will again seek a new perspective with their perceived championship window dangerously close to closing. Remember, Bryce Harper is slated to be a free agent at the end of next season. The Nationals will have big decisions on several other key players coming up as well, many of which could hinge on Harper.
Though he’s yet to manage, Martinez brings extensive dugout experience with him to Washington. He’s served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach with the Rays and Cubs since 2008. He’s appeared in the World Series with both teams, earning a championship ring with Chicago last season. He’s long been considered a strong managerial candidate, but for whatever reason hasn’t received that opportunity until now.
Martinez reportedly beat out ex-Red Sox manager John Farrell for the job.
Martinez’s reported departure will also continue a shakeup of Joe Maddon’s coaching staff in Chicago. Pitching coach Chris Bosio, hitting coach John Mallee and third base coach Gary Jones have already been dismissed. They’ve been replaced by Jim Hickey, Chilli Davis and Brian Butterfield respectively.
Finding another person Maddon trusts as his right-hand man will be the team’s next challenge.
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