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Dave Martinez named Nationals manager

Former Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez has been named manager of the Nationals.

The news broke during the weekend, but the Nationals waited until Monday to make the move official.

Martinez, with no managerial experience, agreed to a three-year deal that includes an option for a fourth. He becomes the first Nationals manager to be awarded a contract with more than two years guaranteed since the Lerner family took over ownership in 2016.

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He replaces Dusty Baker, who was let go along with the rest of his staff after the Cubs beat the Nats in five games in their National League Division Series. Besides Martinez, no new hires have been announced by the Nats.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he was “excited to bring Dave into our family.”

“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 had been manager Joe Maddon’s longtime bench coach, starting with the Rays in 2008. He followed Maddon to Chicago before the 2015 season.

Even though Martinez was his right-hand man throughout the last decade, Maddon was rooting for him to join the Nats.

“I’m really hoping Davey gets this job,” Maddon said in a conference call last week. “It’s about time he’s being considered so strongly. He’s ready to do this.

“It’s time for him to hold his own baby and go out there and have his voice be heard. Obviously, we’re all pulling for Davey. It’s the right time for him.”

The Nationals have eyed Martinez for their managerial position before. They interviewed him after the 2014 season, but Matt Williams was hired.

Former Cubs catcher David Ross congratulated Martinez on the promotion by posting a picture of them embracing during a champagne shower in the Cubs’ clubhouse.

“Congrats to Davey Martinez. No one more deserving than this guy,” Ross wrote in a tweet Monday morning. “The Nationals are going to do some amazing things under his leadership.”

 

Martinez is the latest to depart in the Cubs’ coaching-staff turnover this offseason. The Cubs fired Chris Bosio and hired Jim Hickey, who was Maddon’s pitching coach with the Rays. Hitting coach John Mallee and third-base coach Gary Jones were replaced by Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield, respectively. And minor-league hitting coordinator Andy Haines was promoted to replace assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske, who left to take the head hitting-coach job with the Angels.

Follow me on Twitter @madkenney.

Email: mkenney@suntimes.com