Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo’s affinity for the Diamondbacks organization surfaced again yesterday during his managerial search. Rizzo, Arizona’s director of scouting from 2000 to 2006, interviewed current Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green on Tuesday, according to a report from FOXSports.com.
Recently dismissed manager Matt Williams also landed the job in 2013 after coaching third with Arizona. And Rizzo recently interviewed Phil Nevin, the manager for the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A Reno Aces.
Green, a former infielder, played parts of three seasons with the Diamondbacks from 2004-2006. He had a short stint in Japan and then had a cup of coffee back in the big leagues with the Mets in 2009 before hanging up his spikes.
Green, 38, began managing in Arizona’s minor league system in 2011. He took over as skipper of the Double-A Mobile BayBears in 2012 and was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2013 and 2014, both playoff seasons.
Leading up to his promotion as Diamondbacks third base coach last year, Green was also interviewed for Arizona’s managerial opening before Chip Hale was hired as skipper.
Rizzo’s schedule was packed yesterday with the Nationals also reportedly interviewing former longtime Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire, 57, led Minnesota to six American League Central championships during his 13-year tenure. However, his dismissal in 2014 followed four straight 90-plus loss seasons.
Another candidate could emerge soon, with the Cubs sitting on the brink of elimination, down 3-0 to the Mets in the National League Championship Series. Rizzo interviewed Dave Martinez, Chicago’s bench coach, in 2013 and is likely to repeat that process once the Cubs’ season officially ends.
“We will reassess several candidates that we interviewed last time,” Rizzo said on Oct. 5 a few hours after firing Williams. “We’re going to keep an open mind on it.”
During that same conference call, Rizzo also repeatedly mentioned of the potential importance the next Nats skipper having previous big league managerial experience. Martinez has never managed before. The 51-year-old played primarily as an outfielder with nine teams over his 16-year career. Joe Maddon hired Martinez as Tampa Bay’s bench coach in 2007, and he quickly became a valuable member of the staff.
Prior to his interview with Rizzo in 2013, Martinez also interviewed with the Indians, White Sox, Blue Jays and Astros for managerial openings.
In addition to his meetings with Green and Gardenhire, Rizzo has reportedly interviewed veteran major league managers Dusty Baker and Bud Black, along with longtime Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Nevin.