The Nationals are already working their way through the first round of interviews for their vacant managerial position, having met with Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams and Padres executive Brad Ausmus, as well as Randy Knorr, who has served as Nats bench coach the last two seasons.
But don’t expect to hear any final word on who lands the Nats’ managerial job until November.
Things have ramped up a bit in general manager Mike Rizzo’s search for a new manager, but according to two sources familiar with the Nats’ plans, the organization is looking to announce its new skipper during the first week of November.
This isn’t much of a surprise, largely because Major League Baseball prefers teams to wait until after the World Series is over before making any major announcements, to avoid pulling attention away from the Fall Classic.
You might remember the pushback Alex Rodriguez’s camp received when they announced during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series that Rodriguez would be opting out of the final three seasons of his contract with the Yankees. Was it coincidence that the Red Sox were about to sweep the Rockies and win the World Series that night? Who knows, but there were reportedly plenty of people within the league office and Red Sox organization that weren’t too pleased with the timing of Rodriguez’s announcement.
The Nats announcing a new manager during the World Series likely wouldn’t cause as much of a distraction as Rodriguez’s announcement did, but still, there’s no harm in waiting another week.
This will allow the Nats time to work through their second round of interviews with qualified candidates, and they’ve targeted that first week of November as their likely announcement window.
In addition to Williams, Ausmus and Knorr, Nationals third base coach Trent Jewett is expected to receive serious consideration as a candidate. Former Reds manager Dusty Baker will not, however.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that Baker is not expected to receive an interview for the Nats’ managerial job, despite having indicated his interest in the position.
Meanwhile, two former Nationals are now former Phillies, as well.
Left-hander John Lannan and outfielder Roger Bernadina, who both were outrighted by the Phillies this week, removing them from the 40-man roster, have elected free agency.
Lannan a 2005 draft pick of the Nationals who pitched parts of six seasons in D.C., was non-tendered by the Nats last offseason. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Phillies in December but battled injuries this season and went 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts in 2013.
After a strong 2012 season in which he posted career highs in batting average (.291), on-base percentage (.372) and slugging (.405), Bernadina was released by the Nats this August after hitting just .178/.247/.270 in 152 at-bats. He didn’t fare too much better after signing with the Phillies, posting a .187/.256/.347 slash line with two homers and five RBIs in 75 at-bats.
Both guys will now become free agents again and will look to find a place where they can get back on track in 2014. And before you ask, no, you shouldn’t expect either guy back with the Nationals next season.