Over the weekend, Washington Post writer James Wagner, citing "people familiar with the situation", reported that the Washington Nationals had "... asked and were given permission by the [Arizona] Diamondbacks to talk to their Class AAA manager, Phil Nevin, about Washington’s managerial vacancy." Nevin, the WaPost writer noted, is a former major league infielder, who spent the last six seasons managing in the minors.
He interviewed for the Houston Astros' job opening on the bench last winter before that job went to A.J. Hinch, and reportedly interviewed for the Miami Marlins' managerial opening last week:
Phil Nevin also receiving interest for the Nationals manager position, according to a source— Zach Buchanan (@azc_zachb) October 8, 2015
While noting that one source he spoke to said Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo, "... will take his time in hiring the new manager," MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported on Monday that "two sources familiar with the situation said that, "[t]he Nationals plan to start interviewing candidates for their managerial opening this week."
Nevin was on the list of potential candidates Ladson went over in discussing the possibilities, and according to USA TODAY sports writer Bob Nightengale, he did in fact interview for the position in D.C. yesterday:
Phil Nevin is the hottest managerial candidate in #MLB: Interviewed Monday w #Nats, already w #Marlins, and #Padres and #Mariners on deck.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 13, 2015
In discussing the Nationals' managerial search after Matt Williams was relieved of his duties on the Nats' bench last week, Rizzo told reporters that they were prioritizing experience this time around after hiring Williams in spite of the fact that he'd only managed for a short time in the minors and for a short stint in the Arizona Fall League before he got the job.
"Last time, we brought in managing candidates with little or no managerial experience," Rizzo explained.
"I think that we’ll have a greater pool of manager candidates this year, stemming from very experienced to limited experience and really go through a process that gets to know the manager personally first, and then professionally and what he does on the field."
"We feel that where we're at in our timetable in our time frame of winning a championship," Rizzo said. "We certainly would lean towards someone that has some type of managerial experience, especially at the major league level, but again, we're going to be open-minded and look for the best candidate we can that allows us to win a championship here in the very near future."
Nevin, 44, and the no.1 overall pick of the 1992 Draft, finished his 12-year major league playing career in 2006, putting up a .270/.343/.472 line over 1,217 games, then managed in independent ball before joining the Detroit Tigers' organization, managing at Double and Triple-A before becoming the manager of the D-Backs' top minor league affiliate.
Tony La Russa, the Arizona Diamondbacks' "chief baseball officer" said Nevin impressed when he interviewed for the D-Backs' big league job, which went to Chip Hale, and La Russa told AZCentral.com's Zack Buchanan last month that Arizona anticipated Nevin getting interest from teams in the market for a manager this winter:
"He’s highly rated," La Russa said. "He did a hell of an interview. He got serious consideration for this job. He would do an outstanding job. I think Phil would be on a list of guys."