The Washington Nationals were expected to compete for a World Series this season and it looked like they would early in the year. However, a second half swoon has dropped the Nationals to second place in the NL East behind the New York Mets. The Nationals are well behind in the Wild Card race and are unlikely to catch the Mets. Missing the postseason could end up costing Matt Williams his job as manager. If Williams is fired, here are three candidates the Nationals could hire.
Terry Francona, current Cleveland Indians manager
Francona isn't going to be fired by the Indians, but he might not be their manager next season. Francona has an opt-out clause in his contract if president Mark Shapiro leaves the organization. Shapiro is heading to the Blue Jays next season, although Francona said he won't opt-out. Still, the potential of a coaching a team loaded with talent like the Nationals could sway Francona into leaving Cleveland. If Francona opts out, he'd be the most wanted manager in the MLB.
Charlie Manuel, former Philadelphia Phillies manager
This one might be another "pipe dream." Manuel has had his chances to get back into coaching since the Phillies fired him, but he's passed on them all. Manuel loves the Phillies, but the allure of coaching the Nationals and their talented team could pull him out of retirement.
Ron Gardenhire, former Minnesota Twins
The former skipper of the Minnesota Twins has the experience the Nationals could be looking for. He was a strong manager in Minnesota, although the time had come for the Twins to part ways. However, Gardenhire could end up as the Tigers' manager next season.