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Report: Nationals to hire Dave Martinez as manager

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FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez has been selected as their new manager. The team has not confirmed the report yet, but Heyman expects that the announcement will follow the conclusion of the World Series next week.

Martinez, 53, spent nine seasons working as a spring training instructor, bench coach and defensive coordinator for the Rays. He was routinely passed over for other managerial openings on the Rays, Cubs, Astros, White Sox, Blue Jays, Indians and Nationals and has no official managerial experience to speak of at any level. The Cubs brought him on as a bench coach prior to the 2015 season, and he got his first taste of a World Series victory after helping coach the club through their 2016 title run.

It’s been several weeks since former manager Dusty Baker was released from the Nationals, and Heyman speculates that the team wanted to move quickly through the hiring process. They interviewed Red Sox’ former skipper John Farrell and inquired about Mets’ hitting coach Kevin Long but were ultimately drawn to Martinez’s experience in the dugout, understanding of analytics and relationship with the players. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post adds that the deal is reportedly good for three years with an option.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.