The Nationals reportedly agreed to hire Bud Black as their manager before going with Dusty Baker, but GM Mike Rizzo has a slightly different version of events. “We definitely had financial parameters discussed with (both), at the same time,” Rizzo said at a press conference, according to The Associated Press.
“We felt that was the best track to go by,” Rizzo said, “because sometimes the negotiating process also tells you a lot about the people that you’re negotiating with. As we discussed baseball in the interview process, and parameters in the financial process, we came to the conclusion that Dusty Baker was the perfect guy for us.”
Here’s more from the NL East..
- The Marlins will explore making an extension offer to second baseman Dee Gordon, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. For his part, Gordon says that he would be receptive to such an offer. The NL batting and stolen base champ is under team control for a few more years and will not be eligible to hit the open market until after the 2019 season. Recently, team president David Samson remarked that the organization has “three of the top ten players in baseball” — referring to Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Gordon.
- The Marlins are less optimistic about signing shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, however. Miami is under the impression that the 26-year-old (27 in April) will seek a deal in the neighborhood of Elvis Andrus‘ eight-year, $120MM pact. Hechavarria, under team control through 2018, slashed a career-best .281/.315/.374 in 2015. Of course, he is valued more for his glove, which resulted in a stellar 17.7 UZR/150 this past season.
- Catcher Jeff Mathis remains a possibility to return to the Marlins because of his defense and the way he handles the pitching staff, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Mathis, 33 in March, slashed just .161/.214/.290 in 103 plate appearances last season. For his career, he owns a slash line of .194/.254/.306 over the course of eleven big league campaigns. While he won’t be winning any battling titles soon, Mathis is valued for plenty of other things outside of his bat.