With their roster’s talent and their ownership’s willingness to spend the Nationals will have no shortage of qualified candidates lining up to replace Davey Johnson as their next manager. They added another big name to that list this week.

Longtime manager Dusty Baker whom the Reds fired late last week contacted General Manager Mike Rizzo through his agent to inform the Nationals he is interested in the job. Baker said no interview has been schedule and it is not clear if the Nationals have reciprocal interest in him.

“It’s early” Baker said in a phone conversation. “A lot of stuff doesn’t really happen until the World Series is over. Right now I’m in no hurry. I just let them know that I was interested.”
Baker led the Reds this season to 90 wins and the National League wild card playoff game where they lost to the Pirates. Baker said the Nationals offer the quality any experienced manager would want: the ability to win big and win right away.

“It’s a good team. It’s a very good team” Baker said. “I’m about winning. My son told me – he was crying the other day – he wanted to play for the Reds. Then he told me ‘Dad if you want to win you want to go to the Nationals.’

“I don’t have a whole bunch of years left but I’ve got some good ones left. I want to take a team to the top.”

Baker 64 is one of the most accomplished candidates available. He owns a .526 winning percentage over 20 seasons as a big league manager and his 1671 wins rank 16th all-time. Baker has made the playoffs with three different teams. Baker took the San Francisco Giants to the 2002 World Series where they lost in seven games to the Angels. He left San Francisco and won a division title with the Cubs in 2003.