WASHINGTON – The Washington Nationals named Dave Martinez as manager on Monday, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year that makes him the seventh field manager in Nationals history. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Martinez, 53, joins the Nationals for what will be his 30th season in professional baseball. A 16-year Major League outfielder, Martinez has been a Major League coach for the last 10 seasons, serving as Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s bench coach and right-hand man in Chicago (2015-17) as well as Tampa Bay (2008-14). This is the first Major League managerial assignment of Martinez’s career.
“We are delighted to bring Dave aboard and excited about what he will bring to our clubhouse and our dugout,” said Theodore N. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner of the Nationals. “We have been very clear about our goals as an organization and we feel confident we’ve found the right man to help us reach them.”
A 2016 World Series champion as Maddon’s bench coach in Chicago, Martinez’s clubs have made it to the Postseason in seven of his 10 seasons as a coach. He enjoyed four trips to the playoffs with Tampa Bay, as the club went 627-508 during his tenure, including a trip to the 2008 World Series. With Chicago, Martinez reached three consecutive National League Championship Series, and of course, the 2016 World Series.
Martinez, the longest-tenured bench coach in Tampa Bay Rays history before he joined the Cubs for the 2015 season, suited up for nine different teams during his Major League playing career, including a four-year stop (his longest stint) with the Montreal Expos, the Washington Nationals’ predecessor.
Martinez’s playing career also featured time with the Cubs (1986-88, 2000), Reds (1992), Giants (1993-94), White Sox (1995-97), Devil Rays (1998-2000), Rangers (2000), Blue Jays (2000), and Braves (2001). Martinez recorded the first hit in the history of the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays with a third-inning single against Detroit on March 31, 1998.
“I am excited to bring Dave into our family,” Rizzo said. “As we went through this process it became clear the type of manager we were looking for – someone who is progressive, someone who can connect with and communicate well with our players, and someone who embraces the analytical side of the game. We came away from the process feeling like there was absolutely no one better suited – who matched up to what this organization needs right now – than Dave.”
Martinez, who is bilingual and speaks Spanish as well as English, was born in Brooklyn, NY on Sept. 26, 1964. A third-round selection of the Cubs in the 1983 draft, he made his Major League debut three seasons later, at the age of 21. A career .276 hitter, Martinez played center field (852 games), right field (735), first base (192), and left field (144). He also appeared twice as a pitcher. He participated in two Postseason series in his playing career (NLDS, NLCS), both with Atlanta in 2001.