Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo dismissed manager Matt Williams and his staff a few weeks back, but said at the time that it was possible some of the coaches could return in different roles.
"We have not offered a renewal of a contract for any of our coaching staff," Rizzo explained.
"That's not to say that some of the coaches will not be back if the new manager decides that they are people that he would like to have on the staff."
Several of the coaches, (bench coach Randy Knorr, third base coach Bob Henley and bullpen coach Matt Lecroy) have already been reassigned within the organization, and now-former Nationals' pitching coach Steve McCatty was reportedly under consideration for a job with the Detroit Tigers, so it looks like new manager Bud Black could be given a chance to assemble his own staff.
Before the veteran of nine years on the bench with the San Diego Padres has even been announced as the Washington Nationals' new manager, there are already rumors about which coaches Black might bring along with him to the nation's capital.
In reporting that multiple sources told him that Black will in fact get the job on the bench in D.C., Washington Post writer James Wagner wrote on Wednesday that, "Rick Renteria, who managed the [Chicago] Cubs for one season in 2014 and was Black’s former bench coach in San Diego, is an early favorite to serve as Black’s right-hand man again."
San Diego Union-Tribune writer Dennis Lin speculated last week about Black possibly bringing another coach with him if he got the job with the Nationals.
"If he lands the job," Lin wrote, "Black could take some of the Padres’ coaching staff with him. His longtime pitching coach, Darren Balsley, would appear to be one such candidate."
Lin mentioned another potential coach last night, adding Dave Roberts' name to the rumor mill.
The Nationals have not confirmed the hiring and probably won't until after the World Series is over since MLB frowns upon teams making big announcements during the jewel event, but the news is out there as of last night.
Buddy Black equals pure class. Nationals made an exceptional hire and now Buddy can help Nationals reach potential. https://t.co/bQ8X89tS9a— Tracy Ringolsby (@TracyRingolsby) October 29, 2015
So what is the baseball world saying about the Nats' rumored hire?
• "With hindsight, the Nats should have hired a Bud Black type — a proven competent big league manager who wouldn’t mess up a pat hand — two years ago." - "In Bud Black, Nationals get exactly what they were looking for: experience" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
• "The Nationals plan to name Bud Black their next manager, a source familiar with the decision confirmed Wednesday night..." - "Source: Nats to name Black new manager" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Mid-Atlantic
• "It isn't known yet whether the Reds will trade star closer Aroldis Chapman (the guess here is yes), but if they do, the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and Nationals are expected to be at the forefront of the talks." - "Inside Baseball: Humble Moore takes unusual route to become top GM" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
nats choice was very close call between black and baker. they identified the right 2 men for that situation. good job.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 29, 2015
• "After an embarrassing collapse under Williams, it was important for Washington to hire a manager with experience." - "Report: Nationals expected to hire Bud Black as their next manager" - Chris Cwik, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) October 29, 2015
• "Pitching coach Darren Balsley and bench coach Dave Roberts are among the candidates to join Black, who is expected to be named the Washington Nationals’ new manager." - "Ron Gardenhire, Rick Sofield finalists for Padres manager" - Dennis Lin, SanDiegoUnionTribune.com
• "The Nationals will name Bud Black their sixth full-time manager, replacing Matt Williams, according to a baseball source. The club has not yet confirmed the report." - "Bud Black set to become Nationals manager" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "'I think actually one of the criticisms of him is he's not offense-centric enough,' Lin continued. 'He's focused on pitching a little more than offense for obvious reasons. The pitchers love that.'" - "Padres scribe on Bud Black as a manager: 'Players do like him'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• "Of the seven candidates who Rizzo reportedly auditioned over the past few weeks, only Black and veteran manager Dusty Baker returned to D.C. for second interviews." - "Nationals Pastime: Report: Bud Black to be hired as Nationals' next manager" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com