The Nationals fired manager Matt Williams and his entire coaching staff earlier this week on the heels of a disappointing season, adding them to the list of teams seeking a new skipper. Here’s the latest…
- Baker and Black are expected to receive second interviews with the Nationals, James Wagner and Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post report. (The TalkNats.com blog wrote earlier today that the two were considered finalists, citing a source within the organization.) While that seems to indicate that the club is moving into another phase of the process, new options could still be brought in for initial looks, per the report.
- The Nationals won’t interview Don Mattingly for their managerial position, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. Mattingly, who formally broke ties with the Dodgers yesterday after a five-year run, had seemed at least a hypothetically plausible candidate given his experience running a veteran, contending ballclub.
- Former Nats bench coach Randy Knorr is not under consideration for the job, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports on Twitter. GM Mike Rizzo stated a few weeks back that he would not rule out Knorr, who was let go along with the rest of the coaching staff at the end of the season, but it appears that he’s no longer a candidate. Knorr was considered a finalist in the club’s last managerial hiring process.
- The sudden availability of ex-Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly could impact the Nats’ search, writes Mark Zuckerman of CSN Mid Atlantic. He’s at least a theoretical candidate in D.C., for one thing, and the availability of the Dodgers’ job could draw interest from some Nationals candidates. Washington is nearing finalization of its initial round of interviews, per the report, with Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez and perhaps Mattingly possibly joining the group already under consideration (all of whom are listed elsewhere in this post). One possibility that appears unlikely to be considered, according to Zuckerman, is Cal Ripken, who has yet to be contacted by the Nationals.
- The Nationals have interviewed Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Wallach, 58, spent much of his playing career in the Expos organization. Before taking the job as bench coach, Wallach coached for the Dodgers in other capacities and served as the organization’s Triple-A manager.
- Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green interviewed with the Nationals today (October 20) as well, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.Green is also said to have drawn interest from the Padres. The 38-year-old spent much of his playing and coaching career in the minors, but does have experience in both areas at the major league level.
- Gardenhire arrived in D.C. yesterday and will interview for the position today (October 20), reports MLB.com’s Bill Ladson.
- Wotus will have his interview on Monday, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports on Twitter. The 54-year-old has been the San Francisco bench coach since 1999.
- Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire will indeed interview for the Nats’ opening, multiple sources tell MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Baker could interview as early as tomorrow, while Gardenhire’s interview might not come until next week.
- The Nationals will interview Black, Nevin, and Alex Cora, according to multiple reports. That trio has, perhaps, drawn the widest interest among teams looking to fill vacancies. Cora, notably, wrapped up his big league career with a stint in D.C. back in 2011. As also covered in that link, Washington continues to have interest in Giants bench coach Ron Wotus as well.
- Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. has often been mentioned as a hypothetical managerial candidate in D.C., and he said this morning in an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show that he’d listen with interest if contacted by the club. (You can read an article on the appearance from Josh Land of the Baltimore Sun.) Ripken made clear that he hasn’t heard from D.C., but added that “everybody wants a phone call like that.” Ripken expressed confidence in his abilities to adapt to running a dugout, despite his lack of direct experience in that role. He certainly wasn’t openly campaigning for the position, but did seem amenable to considering the possibility. It remains unclear, of course, whether the Nats have continued interest in Ripken after rookie skipper Matt Williams failed to deliver.
- Diamondbacks Triple-A manager Phil Nevin is receiving interest from the Nationals, reports the Arizona Republic’s Zach Buchanan (via Twitter). While Rizzo said Monday that the team would lean toward someone with Major League managerial experience, which Nevin lacks, Nevin is an accomplished minor league skipper that’s thought to be a future big league manager. Rizzo, formerly Arizona’s scouting director, was already with the Nats by the time Nevin joined the D-Backs organization in 2014. However, he still has connections in Arizona that could give him plenty of insight into what Nevin would bring to the table.
- Both Bud Black and Rick Renteria could eventually emerge as candidates, writes the Washington Post’s James Wagner. As Wagner points out, Black spoke very briefly about the position in a recent MLB Network Radio appearance on SiriusXM (audio link), calling it a “very attractive” opening. Black was, of course, put on the spot, and his answer could simply be considered diplomatic in nature, but Wagner points out that a core of Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon and others plus a sizable payroll and market will be appealing for a number of candidates. He continues by adding that Renteria wants to get back into the managerial game and has turned away coaching opportunities in hopes of landing the role of manager with an organization.
- The Nationals have offered many of the coaches that were relieved of their duties new roles in the organization, writes the Post’s Chelsea Janes. Any new manager hired will have the opportunity to hire any of those reassigned coaches to his staff, but he’ll also have the opportunity to bring in a completely fresh staff, which is the likelier outcome.