Updated, 7:05 p.m.
The Nationals’ search for a new manager continued into a second week of interviews with Giants longtime bench coach Ron Wotus visiting with the team on Monday, and former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire expected in Washington on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the situation. The Lerner family has been involved in the process with General Manager Mike Rizzo.
In addition, the Nationals also interviewed Diamondbacks third base coach Andy Green on Tuesday, another person familiar with the situation said. Green, 38, played infield for the Diamondbacks for parts of the 2004 to 2006 seasons, when Rizzo was the scouting director there. After his playing career, Green became a minor league manager, and was named Southern League Manager of the Year in 2013 and 2014. He joined Arizona’s big league coaching staff for the 2015 season. Fox Sports first mentioned Green’s interview.
Gardenhire, 57, was the American League Manager of the Year in 2010 and won six AL Central titles before being fired in 2014 after 13 years at the helm of the Twins. The Oklahoma native and former major league infielder is known for easy-going demeanor, and his ability to lead and relate to players.
Gardenhire fits the profile of the type of manager the Nationals have been targeting. Last week, they interviewed former longtime manager Dusty Baker and former Padres manager Bud Black, seen as a leading candidate. After an unsuccessful experience with rookie manager Matt Williams over the past two years, the Nationals have seemingly prioritized experience with the hopes of stability. The Nationals have had four different managers over the past seven years.
Although Wotus has only ever managed in the minor leagues, he has been the right-hand man to three accomplished managers: Felipe Alou, Baker and Bruce Bochy. The Giants won three World Series titles — 2010, 2012 and 2014 — under Bochy and his coaching staff.
Wotus, 54, is known for his personality, communication skills, infield coaching, and ability to blend old and new baseball ideas such as defensive shifts. The Connecticut native had brief stints as a major league infielder with the Pirates in 1983 and 1984. He managed in the Giants’ minor leagues from 1991 to 1997, twice winning manager of the year awards. He became a major league coach in 1998 and bench coach a year later.
The list, so far, of publicly known and/or reported candidates: Baker, Gardenhire, Black, Wotus, Green, former infielder/Diamondbacks Class AAA manager Phil Nevin and former Nationals infielder/current TV analyst Alex Cora. Interviews began last week with Nevin. Former bench coach Randy Knorr, a popular choice among Nationals players in 2013, has not been contacted for an interview. And Cal Ripken Jr., who was discussed by the Nationals as a candidate two years ago, has also not been contacted despite his statements that he feels ready to manage.