The Nationals have finished their managerial search and are simply waiting until after the World Series concludes to make an official announcement, General Manager Mike Rizzo said today in a conference call with reporters. Barring an absolute shock, Davey Johnson will retain the position for the 2012 season.
MLB asks teams not make any formal announcements during the World Series so as to detract attention from the sport’s marquee event. “We’re just waiting for an opportunity to make an announcement,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo said he and Johnson have been “in communication” about next year’s coaching staff, which the Nationals will also finalize following the World Series. There are no major changes expected to the staff. Johnson supports hitting coach Rick Eckstein, and third base coach Bo Porter will return to that role barring another team offering him its manager’s job.
The Nationals may have an opening at bench coach if Pat Corrales, 70, moves back into a front office and player development role. Porter’s experience makes him a fit, but the Nationals see him as an excellent third base coach and believe moving him to the dugout would cost them on the field.
First base coach Trent Jewett, a longtime minor league manager, and Class AAA Syracuse Manager Randy Knorr could both be considered as the team’s bench coach if Corrales steps aside. The Nationals did not interview Knorr or Jewett for the manager’s position.
Rizzo touched on a number of subjects during his call. Check back over the course of the afternoon and into tomorrow for more on the Nationals’ offseason.