The Nationals are expected to hire Bud Black as their next manager, according to a report from James Wagner of the Washington Post. Washington has not yet confirmed the news, but will likely announce it after the conclusion of the World Series.
Black was reported to be one of two finalists for the Nationals' opening, along with longtime major-league manager Dusty Baker. Washington also interviewed Phil Nevin, Alex Cora, Ron Wotus, Ron Gardenhire, Andy Green and Tim Wallach for the job left open by the firing of Matt Williams.
Black, 58, was fired by the Padres in mid-June after serving as San Diego's manager for more than eight years. He was considered a candidate for managerial openings in Seattle, Los Angeles and Miami this winter, but instead appears to be heading east to replace Williams, who spent two years leading the Nationals.
Black inherits a talented but controversial Nats team that won only 83 games after being projected as a World Series favorite at the beginning of the season. General manager Mike Rizzo, who prioritized experience in his search for a new manager, will likely overhaul the team's roster this winter, with veterans Denard Span, Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann becoming free agents and relievers Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon believed to be available on the trade market.
The Nationals are the third team to hire a new full-time manager this fall, joining the Phillies (Pete Mackanin) and Mariners (Scott Servais). As our managerial carousel tracker shows, the Dodgers, Marlins and Padres are all in the midst of managerial searches.