The news early Thursday of the Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly parting ways immediately led to the potential of adding a new, attractive candidate to the race for the Nationals’ opening. Meanwhile, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was reportedly interviewing Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach for the managerial job, according to Yahoo Sports.
If Wallach somehow ended up as skipper of the Nats, he would see his career come full circle. Wallach was drafted in the first round by the Expos in 1979 and made his major league debut in Montreal a year later, becoming one of the game’s best third baseman.
Wallach won three Gold Glove Awards and was an All-Star five times during his 13 seasons in Montreal. He wrapped up his 17-year career by playing four seasons for the Dodgers and briefly with the Angels. The 58-year-old owns a lifetime .257 batting average with 260 homers.
Wallach’s managerial career began in 1998 with the Dodgers’ Single-A San Bernardino club. He became the Dodgers hitting coach in 2005 and then returned to the minors as skipper of Triple-A Albuquerque in 2009. Wallach was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year that season after leading the Isotopes to the playoffs.
The Dodgers promoted Wallach to third base coach in 2010 and he became Mattingly’s bench coach in 2014. He is also viewed as a candidate to fill the managerial vacancy in Los Angeles with Mattingly’s recent departure.
Mattingly could be an interesting choice for the Nationals. The 54-year-old led the Dodgers to the playoffs the last three seasons, but only managed one series win. He guided the Dodgers to a 446-363 record in his five years in Los Angeles after succeeding Joe Torre as manager.
With the Mets sweeping the Cubs out of the playoffs, Chicago bench coach Dave Martinez has been floated for managerial openings in San Diego, Los Angeles and Washington. Rizzo also interviewed Martinez for the Nats job in 2013 before hiring Matt Williams.
Since firing Williams on Oct. 5, Rizzo has reportedly interviewed veteran managers Dusty Baker and Bud Black, along with Diamondbacks’ Triple-A skipper Phil Nevin, Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Wallach.