Nationals third base coach Trent Jewett has interviewed for Washington’s open managerial position, according to a person familiar with the situation. A longtime minor league manager and coach, Jewett had long been considered a potential successor to Davey Johnson.
Jewett is the fourth known candidate to interview, joining bench coach Randy Knorr, third base coach Matt Williams and Padres front office assistant Brad Ausmus.
By MLB mandate, the Nationals must interview at least one minority candidate. The Nationals have made no comments about their process. If they have interviewed a minority candidate, it has not been made public. The Nationals have not reciprocated interest from former Reds Manager Dusty Baker, and as of late last week they had not contacted Class AAA Manager Tony Beasley. Baker and Beasley are African-American.
Both Jewett and Knorr, according to a person close to the Nationals, impressed the Nationals’ front office and ownership during their interviews. Knorr emerged as the favorite in the clubhouse. Williams may still be a front runner for the job because of his commanding presence and close ties to General Manager Mike Rizzo.
Jewett, 49, has been in the Nationals organization since 2009 after a career spent with the Pirates as a minor league catcher, minor league manager and big league coach. Before arriving with the Nationals, Baseball America named Jewett one of the most promising big league managing prospects in the minors.
Jewett managed Class A Potomac in 2009 before the Nationals bumped him to Syracuse in 2010. He joined the Nationals’ coaching staff in 2011 as an extra coach, primarily working with infielders. He was the first base coach in 2012 and shifted to third last season.
Players enjoy working with Jewett, who has a stern disposition and easy-going manner. If he becomes manager, the native Texan may have to overcome his love for the Dallas Cowboys in the eyes of fans.