UPDATE: The Nationals have indeed hired Dusty Baker, making it official Tuesday morning. Bob Nightengale reports it's a two-year deal. Managing Owner Ted Lerner said (via release):
"We were looking for a manager to help us achieve our ultimate goal of competing for a World Series championship."
"During our broad search process we met with many qualified candidates, and ultimately it was clear that Dusty’s deep experience was the best fit for our ballclub."
General Manager Mike Rizzo adds (also via release):
"I am so pleased to welcome Dusty Baker to the Nationals family," said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. "In getting to know Dusty and identifying what we wanted in the next on-field leader of our team, we are excited to have him on board.
"Dusty’s experience, as a winning player, coach, and manager, is vast and varied. We are excited to bring him to Washington and put his steady demeanor, knowledge and many years in the game to work in our favor. I think I speak for the entire organization when I say I am very much looking forward to working with him."
It's difficult to say what the immediate impact of the move will be, other than the optics of hanging Bud Black out to dry is yet another instance of the Nationals being goofy. That said, I would hesitate to dismiss this as a bad hire who will necessarily hurt Stephen Strasburg's arm (which you'll no doubt read about today). Instead, my first read is that this is a decent hire for a great roster that just needs a decent manager. Don't be surprised if Dusty manages them to the playoffs in 2016.
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Original story, Matt Goldman: On October 28th, James Wagner of the Washington Post reported that Bud Black was set to be hired by the Nationals.
"The Nationals intend to hire former San Diego Padres manager Bud black to become the sixth full-time manager in the team history, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
Just three hours ago, Wagner tweeted an update on Black's situation.
For those wondering why Bud Black hasn't been announced yet: Nats still ironing out contract terms with him.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) November 3, 2015
However according to Jon Heyman, not only is Black's deal no where near completed, but that Washington might hire Dusty Baker instead.
"In a stunning twist, the Nationals manager job isn't completely settled, and word is, the club has reached out to Dusty Baker, and will offer him the job."
Heyman later notes that while multiple sources had seemingly confirmed that Black was set to join Washington as their next manager, "word is, nothing had ever been settled, despite the reports."
At the moment, it's unclear what may have lead to these circumstances, as well as the original but once more is known, this story will be updated.