It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s news most Nats fans will probably embrace: Davey Johnson will be the Nationals’ manager for the 2013 season.
The Nationals have reached an agreement with Johnson that brings him back to the dugout in a managerial role next season, according to multiple reports. This comes after Johnson led the 2012 Nats to their first playoff appearance in team history and the first postseason appearance for a D.C.-based major league team since 1933.
Johnson had already been under contract with the Nationals for 2013, but his previous deal had him as a consultant.
The Nationals and Johnson needed to negotiate the language and pay in the contract before Johnson was locked in as the Nats’ manager for next season. The team has not yet made the news official, but it’s been expected for the last couple days.
Johnson is coming off a season which he thoroughly enjoyed on both a professional and personal level.
He won The Sporting News National League Manager of the Year award earlier this offseason, voted on by his peers, and has also been named one of three finalists for the NL Manager of the Year award, voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The winner of that award will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Johnson led the Nats to a 98-64 record this season, the best mark in the majors. The Nationals won the NL East title for the first time in team history and were one strike away from an appearance in the National League Championship Series.
Beyond all that that, Johnson seemed to really enjoy the group of players and coaches he had with him this season. He also commented a number of times that he got personal fulfillment out of watching the Nationals’ young players (guys like Ian Desmond) realize their talent and play to their ability level.
The oldest manager in the majors, Johnson will turn 70 before spring training begins. He’s battled various health issues in recent years, but is still in very good shape and has a passion for the game which not many can match.
He’ll be back in the Nationals’ dugout next season, hoping to continue taking this team to new heights.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman first reported Johnson had agreed to terms with the Nats.