Washington's Nationals wanted an experienced manager to replace Matt Williams on the bench in the nation's capital, and according to reports last week, they settled on Bud Black as the sixth skipper since baseball returned to D.C. in 2005. Those reports are still considered accurate, but something went wrong when it came time to negotiate the deal, which was supposed to be announced today.
USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale is reporting tonight, however, that negotiations with Black have ended after he balked at the deal that was being offered.
Nightengale, after CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman's initial reports of the negotiations breaking down, wrote late tonight that "a person directly involved in the talks" told him that, "Nationals GM Mike Rizzo offered Black the managerial job last Wednesday, which he accepted, but when they entered contract negotiations, they never came close to reaching a deal.":
"The Nationals, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, offered Black a two-year deal for less than $2 million, and he never budged. Black informed the Nationals' ownership several days ago that he couldn't accept a deal, which is considerably lower than he anticipated.
"In contrast, Don Mattingly, who has less experience, just received a four-year deal for about $10 million from the Miami Marlins."
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore tweeted out similiar details about the offer that was made to Black, with Nightengale writing that Black is, "... refusing to take what he considers is a low-ball offer.":
Heard Nats offered Black something in range of two years and team options, and he balked. Context: Mattingly signed a 4-year deal in Miami.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 3, 2015
There's a strain of thought that the Lerners don't have a grasp on standard pay for managers. Still sorting out. That's a possible factor.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 3, 2015
Will Dusty Baker accept a two-year deal for that kind of money? Can he hold out for a third year now since he knows Black is out, if that's true? Bet the Nationals are happy those details leaked, if true, again. Is Davey Johnson available just in case?