Dusty Baker is now the frontrunner for the vacant Washington Nationals job, as the Nats have hit some snares in their pursuit of Bud Black.
As reported by James Wagner of the Washington Post, the club has not yet announced the hiring of Black as the two sides have been struggling to complete his contract with terms not yet agreed upon.
As reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the club was reportedly leaning towards Baker earlier in the day and has since reached out to the 66-year-old, offering him a contract with terms of which have not yet been released.
It is said that the Nationals organization has liked Baker from the start and it seems as if the club would be more comforatable with him succeeding Matt Williams in the dugout in 2016.
As Heyman notes, people familiar with the situation were said to be leaning toward Baker over the weekend, though multiple reports suggested Black had already locked up the position. Baker is seen as someone who would make a rather perfect fit in Washington as he is someone who is beyond capable of handling superstars such as Bryce Harper and it is said he is arguably the best player as of right now.
Baker managed Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and did so successfully as he had jobs with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and most recently the Cincinnati Reds. He was let go from Cincy on the 4th of October, 2013, just 3 days after the club was eliminated from playoff contention. Baker led the Giants to the National League Pennant back in 2002 and has reached the playoffs with both the Cubs and Reds over his 20 years of managerial experience.
Before settling in as a Major League manager, Baker enjoyed a 19 year playing career having appeared primarily with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. The hard-hitting outfielder put on a power display each and every day before announcing his retirement at the end of the 1986 season. Baker led the Dodgers to pennants in 1977 and 1978 and to the championship in 1981.