In becoming the sixth manager in Nationals history, Baker will replace former skipper Matt Williams, who was fired this season after failing to lead the team to the playoffs and earning a disappointing 83–79 record.
The Nationals did not disclose the full terms of Baker’s multi-year deal, but Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports his contract is for two years.
Baker most recently managed the Cincinnati Reds for six years, but has not managed an MLB team since the Reds fired him following the 2013 season. He also spent 10 years managing the San Francisco Giants and four years with the Chicago Cubs.
He led the Giants to a National League pennant in 2002, and won NL Manager of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 2000. He has never won a World Series title.
“I am so pleased to welcome Dusty Baker to the Nationals family,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “In getting to know Dusty and identifying what we wanted in the next on-field leader of our team, we are excited to have him on board.
“Dusty’s experience, as a winning player, coach, and manager, is vast and varied. We are excited to bring him to Washington and put his steady demeanor, knowledge and many years in the game to work in our favor. I think I speak for the entire organization when I say I am very much looking forward to working with him.”
Last week, The Washington Post reported that former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black would be named the team’s manager, but the talks reportedly fell apart when the Nationals offered Black a contract that was “considerably lower than he anticipated,” according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
The team will officially introduce Baker at a press conference on Thursday at 11 a.m.
- Erin Flynn