After missing the MLB playoffs in 2015 and parting ways with manager Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals named three-time National League Manager of the Year Dusty Baker as their skipper on Tuesday.

The Nats made the announcement on their official Twitter account. On Wednesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Baker’s contract is for two years, $4 million guaranteed with incentives that could be worth up to an extra $3 million. 

According to Amanda Comak of Curly W Live, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo believes the 66-year-old Baker is the ideal hire to lead the franchise to its first World Series:

I am so pleased to welcome Dusty Baker to the Nationals family. In getting to know Dusty and identifying what we wanted in the next on-field leader of our team, we are excited to have him on board.

Dusty’s experience, as a winning player, coach and manager, is vast and varied. We are excited to bring him to Washington and put his steady demeanor, knowledge and many years in the game to work in our favor. I think I speak for the entire organization when I say I am very much looking forward to working with him.

Baker took to Twitter to express his excitement at the chance:

On Thursday, Baker explained why he decided to take the position in Washington.

“My son gave me a whole list of Nationals shirts and jerseys he wanted,” Baker told reporters. “It was my wife and my son that really helped me make up my mind to accept and take this job. I knew I had their total blessing, and they knew I had a burning desire.”

Baker also said the Nationals are his “fourth and final team,” adding Washington has “the best talent” of any of his stops.

The Nationals were previously in negotiations with former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black, but according to Nightengale, talks broke down when the team made a lowball offer of $1.6 million for one year.

There will be some questions regarding whether Baker is the right fit since he is an old-school manager who doesn’t rely solely on analytics or statistics, per Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan:

However, Baker boasts 20 years of experience on his resume and a 1,671-1,504 record (.526 career winning percentage) along with seven trips to the postseason.

He managed the San Francisco Giants from 1993 to 2002 and won the 2002 National League pennant. He then took over the Chicago Cubs from 2003 to 2006 and led the franchise to the 2003 National League Championship Series, coming within one game of the World Series.

Baker last managed the Cincinnati Reds from 2008 to 2013 and took the team to the playoffs in 2010 for the first time since 1995. The Reds fired Baker despite winning 187 games in his final two years in Cincinnati, and the team has struggled since.

That said, Baker has not made it out of the first round of the playoffs since the 2003 campaign and doesn’t have a championship during this analytics-driven age.

Bomani Jones of acknowledged Baker isn’t the perfect manager, but it is hard to ignore the former player’s career accomplishments:

The Nationals are in win-now mode with plenty of experience in the locker room and some of the best talent in the league, and Baker is a veteran leader.

If he can establish long-term stability and consistent playoff appearances in Washington, it will be an improvement from what fans have seen in recent years.

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