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Johnson’s contract with Nats finalized

Nov 9, 2012, 11:11 PM EST

The Nationals and Davey Johnson have finalized details of a contract that ensures the veteran manager will return in the same capacity next season.

The question of Johnson’s return was never seriously in doubt, but it had yet to be formalized because of the unusual nature of his employment with the Nationals.

Lured back to the dugout in June 2011 following Jim Riggleman’s surprise resignation, Johnson was given a three-year consulting contract. Within that contract were provisions to give him the manager’s job, though those provisions had to be enacted on a year-to-year basis, with financial aspects of the deal open to negotiation.

The two sides went through a similar process last fall, with Johnson and the Nationals finally agreeing to terms on October 31. This year’s time frame actually was comparable because the Nationals’ season didn’t end until October 12 thanks to their first-ever playoff appearance.

According to Johnson will call it a career as a manager following the conclusion of the 2013 season.

Though financial details weren’t disclosed, it’s believed the Nationals are paying Johnson far more than any of their previous managers, who all ranked among the lowest-paid in baseball at the time with salaries in the range of $500,000.

Johnson, who turns 70 in January, is the frontrunner to earn NL Manager of the Year honors next week after guiding a Nationals club that had never posted a winning season before to an MLB-best 98-64 record and its first NL East title. Since taking over for Riggleman, he owns a 138-107 record, bringing his career managerial mark over 16 seasons with five franchises to 1,286-995. Johnson’s .564 career winning percentage ranks second among all active MLB managers, behind only the Yankees’ Joe Girardi (.573 over six seasons). His six career postseason appearances rank second only to the Tigers’ Jim Leyland (seven).

 Only one change is anticipated to Johnson’s coaching staff in 2013, with a replacement needed for departed third base coach Bo Porter (now manager of the Astros). The Nationals could add a new third base coach (potentially Class AAA manager Tony Beasley) or shift first base coach Trent Jewett to the other side of the diamond and replace his position.

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Woooo Hoooo per MicheleS

  2. Feel Wood - Nov 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    In other news, the sun will rise tomorrow.

  3. RickH - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Ghost … That's what I was going to say!

  4. SonnyG10 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Welcome back Davey. Who's going to replace Bo Porter?

  5. Corky - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Welcome back Davey!!!!

  6. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Thanks Ghost.Now Rizzo needs to get Adam signed. I wonder what I should offer as a bribe to get this done.

  7. SonnyG10 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I wonder if Davey would come back if we don't win the WS in 2013…

  8. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    wow, Wendy Thurm ‏@hangingsliders3/18 for Affeldt gives me pause. Best thing about it is that it's less than Brandon League's 3/22 w #Dodgers.How high will it go for LaRoche??????

  9. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    also, on previous topic, will SF non-tender the Bearded One? Romo has shown he can do the closer's job.

  10. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    NatsLady said… wow, Wendy Thurm ‏@hangingsliders3/18 for Affeldt gives me pause. Best thing about it is that it's less than Brandon League's 3/22 w #Dodgers.How high will it go for LaRoche?????? November 09, 2012 7:21 PM _________________________________LaRoche? I wondering how high for Burnett! No wonder why he turned down 3.5 million. That is nuts! Maybe the numbers for Anibal Sanchez aren't that far out of line.

  11. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    yes, but if that kind of money is floating around for a relief pitcher, where are we going for a solid, gold-glove, silver-slugger position player?

  12. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Obviously, Davey is planning to win the WS, so retirement won't be an issue. πŸ˜‰

  13. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    NatsLady, good point. It may be $14 million to $16 per season.I don't think Rizzo pays Burnie anywhere close to $6 million when the estimate for Madson was $7.5 million.

  14. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal Correction: #Brewers have not discussed extension with Hart. It was my mistake. I misinterpreted what I was told. _____________________________________You don't see this too often. Rosenthal corrects self.

  15. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    Unknown major league team won neg. rights with Korean LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu by bidding $25,737,737. #Rangers, #Cubs among bidders..winner unknownApparently the winner is not the cubs and Ryu is represented by Boras.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    People….. Davey, like Leyland and Larussa only commit to one friggin year at a time.

  17. Drew - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Now sign up Tony Beasley.And Mrs. Beasley.And Mr. French.

  18. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    DrewDon't forget Cissy, Buffy, and Jody!

  19. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:13 AM Wagner did a good story on the 1 year Anniversary of the Wilson Ramos kidnapping.Also crazy is the way the Venezuelans write Nov 9th, as 9-11

  20. Doc - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Good to have you 'back' Davey!Now about that Game 5 with those nasty Redbirds….

  21. Natman - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    Gonat said…Also crazy is the way the Venezuelans write Nov 9th, as 9-11————————————————–Actually, the rest of the world writes it that way. Who's crazy?

  22. Natman - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Gonat said…Also crazy is the way the Venezuelans write Nov 9th, as 9-11————————————————–Actually, the rest of the world writes it that way. Who's crazy?

  23. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Natman, its the way Nov 9th is 9-11 and the significance of 9-11 not that most of Latin America writes it that way.

  24. SCNatsFan - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Only reason he wouldn't return would be health concerns… so glad he's back

  25. sm13 - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    Glad to welcome Davey back to the dugout. I hope he goes out with another world series ring

  26. Dave - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Very, very glad to see Davey back at the helm. I feel really good about 2013.

  27. mick - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    relief…. let's get a WS for Davey!!

  28. Unknown - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    I'm glad he's back too.That said, I really appreciated Jim Riggleman's small ball, speed and first-to-third approach. I can't tell you how frustrated I got this season when someone would lead off with a double and–three outs later–he was still on second. Sometimes giving up that out to get into scoring position makes much more sense than seeing strikeouts and pop outs.I wonder sometimes if the Nationals finished 2011 at 80 wins or so with Riggleman still at the helm, would he have been brought back or was he right–was his days numbered regardless?And if he came back, would he have had the same success as Davey?Farid @ Idaho

  29. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I don't think the approach needs to be all one way . There is such great pitching in the NL . Sometimes you just have to manufacture a run. I was also frustrated at the number if times we got someone on base with no outs and they never moved. I think you have to use every tool at your disposal. One of the winning runs in a World Series game was scored on a double play.

  30. sjm308 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Farid:I usually agree with most of what you write here but there is very little I miss about Riggleman. Numbers in baseball are used all the time and I have written here that the only real stat that concerns me is Wins! I don't care how good or bad his team was, he was not a winning manager. I don't want to go back and look at % but I believe he had one of the worst records as a manager and I believe that had to do with how he managed, not his players. Others here will probably give exact examples but I am just so happy he is gone. His press conferences were like a visit to the dentist without novacaine, his players were always tight. Davey came in and loosened things up. I for one do not miss Riggs at all.Go Nats!!

  31. Section 135 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Riggleman was awful. Just listen to Werth's statements about him. There us no way this team wins the NL east with Rigglema at the helm.

  32. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Look at his rosters. He was not given much to work with. Not saying he should still be here, not saying he is great , but he gets way more blame than he deserves. He is a decent baseball guy and a good minor league teacher. The Reds organization entrusted him with Billy .

  33. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Billy Hamilton, that is.

  34. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Farid, I was a fan of Jim Riggleman because I thought he did a good job with what he had. What we learned later was the division in the clubhouse.Rizzo didn't like what he was hearing on the clubhouse which meant it was never going to work with Riggleman as Manager.His small ball/smart ball approach gave up outs for runs but I believe in that approach only when you are facing another team's ace and you are playing for 1 run. Then Jim got angry in an interview with Charlie Slowes on "small ball". Remember those smart ball MASN commercials?Jim's biggest issue as a Manager is what some people called him "sad man". His demeanor didn't exude "the winning attitude" like Davey and that may be the biggest difference between the 2 is Davey is Positive Mental Attitude and energy.The rest is a lot of rumor as to Riggleman's relationship with Jayson Werth and also with Matt Stairs. As we all know, Jayson Werth runs the clubhouse and it sure worked well in 2012.'s the small ball/smart ball commercial:

  35. Section 222 - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    NJ, please explain your mini-temper tantrum. Are you saying that Davey might come back for another year if we don't win it all in 2013? Surely, the news that this is his last season, which is being reported everywhere, is based on more than the fact that he only signed a one year deal.

  36. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Thanks for the more reasonable posts. Lots of things didn't work during those seasons. Makes me appreciate 2012 even more. I am kind of disappointed that MASN hasn't done any season highlight or wrap up shows. I would love that, especially since I was so stressed during most of it !!

  37. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Free agent preview on ALR:Adam LaRoche Also in the Rosethal article on the GM Meetings, this quote from a Red Sox source:"A Red Sox official says of free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche: β€œLike him. Don’t love him.” LaRoche, a free agent, spent nine days with the Sox in 2009."I hope Adam's agents read that and remember what a total crapper the Red Sox clubhouse and their FO is and that he has a home with the Nats. (yes, i know I am biased)

  38. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    And a little shout out to Amanda for her article on Wilson:Wilson Ramos

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    MicheleS, good quote from Red Sox. I've been saying they aren't a match. It's Nats or Rangers the way I see it.I will say it again, LaRoche still doesn't get the respect he deserves and no fanbase outside of Washington respects him.

  40. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Michele good Ramos story!

  41. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I think that his extended time off in 2011 will actually extend his career. Kind of back-handed compliments in that article , especially considering his numbers, awards, and post- season appearance. (ALR)

  42. sjm308 - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Have to think with Davey signed that Rizzo attacks the LaRoche thing next. I realize he also has to deal with a starting pitcher and the bullpen but don't you all feel that LaRoche signing takes lots of other issues off the board?MichelleS – thanks as always for more information on LaRoche and the Red Sox. I hope people here realize how valuable you and others are to this blog. I often gain more from the comments then the original article. Mark is great (you too Chase) but there is usually so much more going on in the comment section.

  43. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Swami/Ghost, the backhanded comments and the quote from the Sox is exactly why I still think we have a shot at Adam. Davey's comment earlier about how getting Adam back was more important that signing Davey was perfect. The fact that the Nats picked up the Options and made the qualifying offer show the Nats want to keep him (granted, I am sure $$$/years are the issue), the FO is following the protocol.

  44. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    lol, back in the day, when my little sister saw pics of my older brother and me as tykes, she thought we looked like Buffy and Jody.Drew said… Now sign up Tony Beasley. And Mrs. Beasley. And Mr. French. November 09, 2012 8:53 PM MicheleS said… Drew Don't forget Cissy, Buffy, and Jody! November 09, 2012 8:57 PM

  45. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I'm with sjm and sec 135 on Riggleman. Anyhoo, he's long gone, so it's a moot point.Glad to have Davey back (though I didn't doubt that he would be).

  46. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    222, remember how before the world series, the reports were that this would be Leyland's last year. The outcome of the season will make people change their minds about when they head into retirement.

  47. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    and until i hear davey actually SAY 100% that this is it for him, not buying into any speculation. No wishy washy statements like It might be, or probably, or stuff leaked to reporters,

  48. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Good news, the Braves lost David Ross to the Red Sux.

  49. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Sorry, bored this morning. Some offseason news from Gio.. he got a dog, She is named Hollywood (his brother named her).Gio's Dog

  50. sometimesitrains - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    i suppose we won't hear any news about DeRosa potentially joining the coaching staff until he's had an opportunity to see if another team might give him a playing contract?



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