It's by no means the talk of the town, but it is fact that Davey Johnson will be retiring from his position as manager of the Washington Nationals after the 2013 season.
Of course, there's a ways to go before Johnson hangs up his skipper's cap, but it still begs the question: Who will be his successor?
In the past, the Nationals organization has exclusively promoted its managers from within its own coaching staff. Even Manny Acta, who was not employed by the Nats when he was named manager in 2006, got his start as a third base coach for the Montreal Expos.
Needless to say, it seems likely the trend will continue once Johnson retires.
However, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com suggested recently that both Nats "ownership and the front office are believed to strongly favor hiring a high-profile manager, rather than simply promote someone [...] from Johnson's coaching staff."
If that's true, it opens the flood gates—especially with nine other big league skippers' contracts expiring after this season.
So who could be managing the Nationals come 2014? Here's an early look at a five potential candidates, both from within the organization and out.