As the Nationals and Manager Davey Johnson near a final resolution for Johnson to manage next year, the sides are in agreement 2013 to be Johnson’s final season as the Nationals’ manager, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The Nationals and Johnson remain on the brink of finalizing the deal that would officially make him Washington’s manager for 2013, his second full season in the Nationals’ dugout. Barring a change of plans during the next year, Johnson will manage one last season and then become a special adviser to General Manager Mike Rizzo in 2014.
Johnson, who will turn 70 in January, said after the conclusion of this season he would have considered “pulling a LaRussa” – or retirement from managing – had the Nationals won the World Series. But instead he cited “unfinished business” and a desire to manage another season.
Rizzo has said in the past he wants Johnson’s successor to come from within the organization. Bench coach Randy Knorr appears to be the leading candidate, with base coach Trent Jewett, Class AAA Syracuse Manager Tony Beasley and Class AA Harrisburg Matt LeCroy also possibilities.
Johnson, who managed the Nationals to an MLB-best 98 wins this season, is one of three finalists for the National League Manager of the Year award. He could retire with credentials that make him a Hall of Fame candidate as a manager. He has lead four different teams to the playoffs, and next year he will try to add a second World Series ring to his resume, putting it on top of the title he guided the 1986 New York Mets to.