clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Washington Nationals' manager search: Inevitable Don Mattingly mention; Ron Wotus permission

New, 13 comments

The last three times the Washington Nationals have searched for a manager, Don Mattingly's name has come up, though he's remained in Los Angeles each time. If the Dodgers were to move on though... ? Jon Heyman's weekly column talks lots of Nats...

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If, and it's a big "if" at this point with their postseason run over for less than twenty-four hours, the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers were to decide to move on from manager Don Mattingly after a disappointing loss to the New York Mets in the NLDS, would the Washington Nationals have interest in the 54-year-old, former major leaguer and veteran of five years on the bench?

"The Nationals-owning Lerners have shown interest in Mattingly in the past," CBSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote this morning, while noting that the Nats, "seem to be moving more quickly in their search, perhaps indicating they believe they can find an excellent choice from among the rather inspired list which includes at least Bud Black, Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Ron Wotus, Alex Cora and others."

When the Nationals were last in the market for a new manager, before they hired recently-fired skipper Matt Williams, there was enough uncertainty about Mattingly's future in LA that he was mentioned as a potential target.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, among others, said that Nats' GM Mike Rizzo was a Mattingly fan.

Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reached out to Mattingly's agent that winter, who said that if his client didn't return to the bench in Los Angeles, he was, "'... aware that organizations like Washington and Chicago and Seattle would be great organizations, too.'"

"People who know Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo say Rizzo is and has always been a Mattingly fan," former CBSSports.com writer Danny Knobler wrote at the time.

"The Nationals considered Mattingly as manager once before, according to sources, although they never officially interviewed him for the job at that point."

They did ask for permission to talk to Mattingly back in 2009, before settling on in-house option Jim Riggleman, who was the interim skipper at the time, having taken over for Manny Acta that season.

Speaking of asking for permission: In the San Francisco Giants section of his weekly "Inside Baseball" column, Heyman, confirming what San Francisco Chronicle writer Henry Schulman, among others, have reported, noted that, "The Giants gave permission to the Nats to interview longtime coach Ron Wotus for Washington's managing job."

Heyman also discusses some of the managerial candidates who have already spoken to the Nationals, writing that when it comes to Bud Black and Dusty Baker, who have already interviewed in Washington, that, "... based on track record, you would have to think either would have a good shot," though when it comes to Baker, "... some teams have shied away... due to the expected price tag of such an accomplished manager with so many other things going on (he has a solar business and other endeavors, including TV)."

Heyman mentions Cal Ripken too, though only in a "he does want to manage some day" way.

Heyman also speculates that soon-to-be-free agent Denard Span, "... would seem unlikely to get a qualifying offer," after the injury-impacted 2015 campaign Span just suffered through.