Fresh off capturing the team's first NL East crown and bringing playoff baseball back to the nation's capital, the Washington Nationals and Davey Johnson have reached an agreement on a new contract, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
Per Ladson, the contract is only for one year, as Johnson plans on retiring following the 2013 season.
Reaching a deal has seemed like a formality for months now, but had just neared completion on Thursday, according to the Washington Times' Amanda Comak.
UPDATE: Friday, November 10 at 12:20 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald
Comak tweeted excerpts of a statement released by Johnson on Friday:
In a statement, Davey-"I love managing this ballclub in this town...As everyone knows, we have some unfinished business to tend to in ‘13...— Amanda Comak (@acomak) November 10, 2012
Davey continued: "I have a feeling this upcoming season will be filled with many memorable moments.”— Amanda Comak (@acomak) November 10, 2012
Perhaps the strategy of shutting down star pitcher Stephen Strasburg won't be the course of action this time around.
The Nationals won the National League pennant this past season but couldn't advance past the NLDS. Johnson is strongly hinting toward getting the job done in 2013, and clearly expects the Nats to be in World Series contention once again.
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Johnson, who has managed five teams in his managerial career, took over in Washington in 2011 and resurrected a franchise that had struggled since moving from Montreal.
However, it's undoubtedly his brilliant work with the Nationals this past season that will bring the 69-year-old manager back in 2013. Equipped with a roster that was brimming with talent but lacking in experience, Johnson guided Washington to a 98-64 record, which was the best in Major League Baseball.
Though the Nationals were bounced by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Divisional Series, it goes without saying Johnson did a fantastic job on the field this season.
Johnson also provided guidance and kept his team grounded during tumultuous times—most notably with the aftermath of the team shutting down pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Despite being criticized by fans who attribute the Nationals' playoff exit to the move, no one ever heard a negative peep from Johnson or any of his players.
All of that is a testament to what Johnson meant to his young team and likely a reason he's roundly considered the favorite for the 2012 NL Manager of the Year Award.
Keeping Johnson around will keep Washington on the path to making a repeat playoff performance next season while affording the team time to look for its next manager. Just a smart move from a franchise that's on the rise.
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