A little more than a week after announcing it would part ways with manager Dusty Baker, the Nationals have hired his replacement: Dave Martinez. After the 2014 season, he interviewed to be Washington's skipper, but the job ultimately went to first-time manager Matt Williams.
His new contract is for three years with an option for a fourth year.
Martinez played 16 season as an outfielder in the majors, for the Cubs, Expos, Reds, Giants, White Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Braves. Joe Maddon brought him with him to the Cubs as his bench coach prior to the 2015 season.
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"I am excited to bring Dave into our family", said Nats GM Mike Rizzo via statement.
Martinez experienced a decade-long education under Maddon, who is considered one of baseball's most forward-thinking managers with a willingness to buck baseball tradition when needed.
In 2008, he became the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Nationals, met with Martinez last Thursday, having dinner with the owners of the team. After Williams was sacked, the Nationals selected Bud Black to replace him but negotiations broke down and the job went to Baker instead.
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The Nationals won the NL East by 20 games this season, but were ousted in five games in the National League Division Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As the rookie manager takes over in Washington, his three-year deal reflects a commitment new to the Nationals.
That hard-nosed policy came back to haunt the Nationals two years ago when they initially selected Bud Black as their manager but saw negotiations break down and the veteran skipper walk away. While the team made it to the postseason both years with Baker as manager, it never moved beyond the first round of the playoffs. A formal announcement isn't likely to come until Monday at the earliest, possibly not until after the World Series ends.
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