The 53-year-old Martinez, who played for nine different major-league clubs (including the Nationals franchise during its days in Montreal) from 1986-2001, will be the Nationals’ seventh full-time manager since they moved to Washington in 2005. He replaces Dusty Baker, who was the first Nationals manager to win consecutive NL East titles but failed to guide Washington to its first playoff series victory in franchise history.
This will be the first time Martinez has coached without Joe Maddon by his side. He worked as Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay from 2008-14, then joined him as the Cubs’ bench coach in 2015.
Martinez, who grew up in Brooklyn but was born to Puerto Rican parents, becomes baseball’s fourth minority manager, joining the White Sox’s Rick Renteria, the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, and newly-hired Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Though the Nationals fired Baker earlier this month, the hirings of Cora and Martinez will give MLB at least one more minority manager than it had last season, with the potential for a fifth depending on who the Yankees hire.