The Nationals are zeroing in on Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez to be their next manager, per a source of MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, and a source has told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier that the two sides have agreed to a deal. The club has not commented.
Martinez has served as a bench coach under manager Joe Maddon since the 2008 season, first with the Rays before moving with Maddon to the Cubs prior to 2015. He was among a pair of candidates to interview for the job last week, along with former Red Sox manager John Farrell.
“[Martinez] is ready to do this — it’s time for him to hold his own baby and go out there and have his voice be heard,” Maddon said Thursday, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. “Obviously, we’re all pulling for Davey. It’s the right time for him.”
Martinez would replace Dusty Baker, whose two-year tenure in D.C. ended earlier this month when the Nationals declined to renew his contract. Baker led the Nationals to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, but the team fell in Game 5 of the National League Division Series both times.
This would be the latest shakeup in a series on Maddon’s coaching staff, following the dismissals of hitting coach John Mallee, pitching coach Chris Bosio and third-base coach Gary Jones. Assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske also left to become the Angels hitting coach.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.