Mike Rizzo confirms that Davey Johnson will be Nats’ manager through end of 2011

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During an interview on FOX earlier this afternoon, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed that Davey Johnson will be named as the team’s next manager.

However, contrary to various reports about a multi-year contract, Rizzo said that Johnson will only be the manager through the end of the 2011 season before the situation is reevaluated.

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post was kind enough to transcribe the interview:

“Well, Davey’s part of the furniture, put it that way,” Rizzo said. “He’s signed a long-term consultant contract, we’re figuring out dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on that. But he’s gonna manage the team through ‘11, we’re going to reevaluate after the season. Davey will be a part of the reevaluation process. We’re going to do a manager search, he’ll be part of the manager search, he’ll be one of the candidates for the manager search. And we’ll see what happens after that. But Davey is going to be in the organization for a long, long time. As long as Mike Rizzo is running the organization, Davey Johnson will be part of the organization.”

And though there is some confusion about John McLaren’s role moving forward, Rizzo made it sound as though he will remain in the organization in some capacity.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.