It's official: Dave Martinez is the next manager of the Washington Nationals.
General Manager Mike Rizzo announced Monday morning that Martinez, who is the Chicago Cubs' bench coach, agreed to a three-year contract with the option of a fourth year.
"As we went through this process it became clear the type of manager we were looking for -- someone who is progressive, someone who can connect with and communicate well with our players and someone who embraces the analytical side of the game," Rizzo said in a statement. "We came away from the process feeling like there was absolutely no one better suited -- who matched up to what this organization needs right now -- than Dave.”
Martinez, 53, has been the bench coach for manager Joe Maddon for the past decade. The two were together with the Chicaco Cubs for the past three seasons, including that team's 2016 World Series championship. Before that, Martinez worked for Maddon with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Martinez replaces Dusty Baker as Washington's manager.
Baker was let go a little more than a week ago. He had been given only a two-year contract and was dismissed after leading the Nationals to two NL East titles with 95 wins in 2016 and 97 wins in 2017.
Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and the rest of the Nationals were eliminated with a one-run loss in Game 5 of an NL Division Series each time, including by the Cubs this year.
The Nationals have won four division titles since 2012 but have yet to win a playoff series, knocked out in an NLDS each time. Martinez is Washington's sixth manager in a 10-season span.
Martinez played for nine major league franchises over 16 years, including four seasons with the Montreal Expos, the team that moved to Washington in 2005 and became the Nationals. Martinez was mostly an outfielder. He retired as a player in 2001.