The Washington Nationals are presently in the middle of their hunt for a new manager, and things are starting to get interesting. It seems that present Los Angles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly‘s agent, Ray Schulte, is on the record telling the Washington Post that if his client can’t get an extension soon he would love to be the skipper in Washington.
Despite the success the Dodgers had winning the NL West and making it to the NLCS where they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers front office has been slow to sit down with “Donny Baseball” to talk a long term extension. Add to that yesterday’s firings of bench coach Trey Hillman and advance scout Wade Taylor, two long time Mattingly friends, and you can see that the Dodgers and Mattingly are not exactly on the same page at this point.
Now for the really fun part of this ever changing story. Mattingly will be sitting down in the next 48 to 72 hours to talk a new deal with none other than former Nationals President, now Dodgers President, Stan Kasten. Schulte has said that it is Mattingly’s hope to return as the Dodgers manager but that this is business and he expects to be compensated for his efforts in helping turn the team around.
Mattingly is digging his heels in on this one because he feels that if the Dodgers are not interested in extending his contract then he does not want to be the manager. In his mind why would he just accept his one vesting deal that would take him through 2014 with no guarantee that he would be back in 2015?
At present the Nationals are likely to monitor the Mattingly situation since they are still in the process of looking for the replacement for Davey Johnson. But if the Dodgers and Mattingly do have irreconcilable differences then Washington would be foolish not to talk with Mattingly about their job.
One final note is that if the Nationals were interested in Mattingly then they would owe the Dodgers some compensation. He is under contract for the 2014 season, and Washington would have to ask for permission to talk with him about their manager job.
Yes, Nationals President of Baseball Operations and GM, Mike Rizzo would have to talk to the man who hired him as the team’s GM, Stan Kasten. Then the two of them would have to work something out for Washington to get Mattingly.
I still feel that in the end that Mattingly will workout his issues with the Dodgers and get his extension. But if he doesn’t I also feel that Washington needs to talk to him because he might just be the man the Nationals could use as their manager.