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How hitting coach Kevin Long ended up back with the Washington Nationals...

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Kevin Long returned for a fourth season in D.C., after he found there were no multi-year offers out there...

According to multiple reports this past October, veteran hitting coach Kevin Long’s three-year contract with Washington’s Nationals expired at the end of the 2020 campaign, and as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand wrote on Twitter at the time (October 10th), “... he [was] expected to pursue other options outside of Washington.”

Long, 54, helped the club on the way to their World Series win in 2019, but he was looking for another three-year deal, and he briefly went on the open market looking for one.

When he didn’t find one he ended up returning to the nation’s capital on a one-year deal.

What happened in those twelve days? Long explained when he spoke with reporters on a Zoom call from the Nationals’ camp in West Palm Beach, FL earlier this week.

“I just — there were discussions going on and we were talking about — my contract had expired,” he said, “and I haven’t had less than a three-year deal in a long, long time, so that’s what I was looking for, and those weren’t out there, and it wasn’t something that I had to make a decision about. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was one that, I thought that was going to be available, and with COVID and the pandemic, it certainly affected that, but I’m very grateful that I’m here, and happy that I’m back with the Nationals, and it’s business.”

Davey Martinez is happy that Long, (who was hired around the same time the manager got his gig on the bench in the winter of 2017-18), is back too, after he spent the days that Long was on the open market calling the coach and trying to convince him to return to D.C.

“I called him for five straight days, you know, trying to convince him to come back here and stay with us,” Martinez said.

“He does a great job with our hitters. I love him. He works really hard. He gets these guys prepared and ready. So, I’m glad it worked out.

“He did have an opportunity to go elsewhere, and he chose to come back, so I was happy that he’s back.”

Long, in the end, was happy to return to Washington as well.

“Absolutely. This is my No. 1 choice. And the place that — you know what ... I’ve built some relationships here and gotten close to a lot of guys, and again, we won a World Series with pretty much the nucleus of this club, so very comfortable in D.C., I’m very comfortable with the Nationals’ organization, and I couldn’t be happier that I’m back.”