Five days ago, the Washington Nationals were set to hire Bud Black as their next manager. Apparently all that was needed was for the two parties to dot the I's and cross the T's.
However, between then and the end of the World Series on Sunday, someone's pen must have run dry because Monday no deal had been reached and the Nationals were heading in a different direction.
Late Monday, reports out of Washington said the Nationals were on the verge of hiring former San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker to replace the departed Matt Williams.
Those same reports said the Nationals had stopped negotiating with Black and all efforts were focused on hiring the 66-year-old Baker.
Baker last managed in 2013, and he was fired three days after the Reds lost the National League wild-card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Nationals offered Black the job last week and he accepted, according to the Washington Post. USA Today reported the team extended a two-year offer worth less than $2 million total. The deal was "considerably lower than he anticipated," USA Today said, adding that new Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly will make $10 million over four years.
Black managed the San Diego Padres from 2007 through part of 2015. He compiled a 649-713 mark.
Baker has a 1,671-1,504 managerial record spanning 20 years.