Dave Martinez got the manager’s gig after the Washington Nationals decided to move on from Dusty Baker. Baker’s staff had their contracts expire as well, so the Nats were suddenly in the market for a coaching staff too.
Shortly after Martinez’s deal was done, the Nationals announced that Kevin Long, who’d interviewed for the managerial opening, would join Martinez’s staff as the hitting coach, and then third base coach Bob Henley reportedly came back to his old job with the Nats.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal this afternoon, the Nationals have also signed Chip Hale to be their first-time manager’s bench coach, adding the former major league infielder, long-time coach, and former big league skipper (with Arizona’s D-Backs) to Martinez’s staff.
Chip Hale will be #Nationals’ new bench coach, sources tell The Athletic. Had been 3B coach for #Athletics, who now must replace him.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 8, 2017
Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes too confirmed the news that Hale will be in D.C. in 2018:
Chip Hale will be the Nationals’ new bench coach, as @Ken_Rosenthal said, according to a person familiar with the situation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) November 8, 2017
Hale, 52, served as the Oakland A’s infield and third base coach last season after he was the Diamondbacks’ manager in 2015-16.
He played seven seasons in the majors between 1989 and 1997, putting up a combined .277/.346/.363 line over 333 games and 652 plate appearances for the Minnesota Twins and LA Dodgers (14 games in ‘97).
As Hale’s bio at the Athletics’ site notes, he worked as a coach for Team USA in 2009, spent, “... six seasons as a minor league manager in the Arizona organization,” before joining Bob Melvin’s staff, served as the New York Mets' third base and infield coach from 2010-11, and served as bench coach with the A's under Melvin from 2012-14.
In an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this morning, Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo said the plan was to surround the Nats’ new manager with experienced people who can help him in his first season as a skipper in the majors after ten years serving as Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay and Chicago.
“We’re going to surround him with the best and finest coaches that are going to complement him and help him reach our goals,” Rizzo said. They’re assembling an impressive staff thus far...