Dusty Baker (right) is the front-runner to be the Washington Nationals’ next manager after negotiations ended with Bud Black (left), according to multiple reports Monday. (Associated Press photo)
A surprising bit of news leaked out of our nation’s capital today: Bud Black
will not manage the Washington Nationals.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo offered Black the managerial job last Wednesday, which he accepted, but when they entered contract negotiations, they never came close to reaching a deal.
The Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, originally offered Black a one-year deal for $1.6 million, and refused to guarantee more than two years. Black informed the Nationals’ ownership several days ago that he couldn’t accept a deal, which is considerably lower than he anticipated.
By contrast, Don Mattingly, who has less experience, just received a four-year deal for about $10 million from the Miami Marlins.
Both USA Today and CBSsports.com are reporting that Dusty Baker is now the front-runner to manage the Nationals.
Baker earned $4 million in the final year of his contract when he was fired in 2013 by the Cincinnati Reds, according to USA Today, and $3.5 million according to CBS. He was not among the front-runners to manage the Dodgers.
Black, who managed under Dodgers executive Josh Byrnes in San Diego, is a candidate to at least get an interview this month.
Some more tidbits:
Batting coach Dave Hansen is the only member of the Dodgers’ coaching staff who will not return to his current position in 2013, the team announced Friday. The 43-year-old has been offered another position within the organization.
Hansen was named interim hitting coach in July 2011 after Jeff Pentland was fired at midseason, and had the ‘interim’ tag removed prior to the 2012 season.
As a team, the Dodgers ranked near the bottom of the 16-team National League in many key categories — runs (13th), slugging percentage (15th), home runs (15th). They ranked first in sacrifice hits, with 82, but that was often attributed to their inability to advance runners with base hits.
The returning coaches include pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, first base coach Davey Lopes, third base coach Tim Wallach, bench coach Trey Hillman, bullpen coach Ken Howell, catching coach Steve Yeager, bullpen catcher Rob Flippo, as well as Manny Mota and Mickey Hatcher. Wallach is a candidate for the Boston Red Sox manager’s job. If hired, he would leave the Dodgers with two coaching vacancies to fill this winter.
Hatcher, 57, was the Angels’ hitting coach from 2000 until he was fired in May. He joined the Dodgers as a special assistant to the general manager but quickly became an in-uniform coach.