UPDATE (11/10/12, noon): Johnson’s return is now official: the Nationals baseball media relations department (@NationalsPR) has tweeted that Davey Johnson will return to the role of field manager for 2013. It will be his last season as manager. In 2014 Johnson will shift to being a consultant to GM Mike Rizzo.
As reported by the Washington Post yesterday, the Nationals and manager Davey Johnson are getting close to closing a contract for the 2013 season. Johnson initially planned on retiring, but cited “unfinished business” from 2012 as his reason for returning.
Nothing has been formally announced yet, however both sides agreed that the 2013 season will be Johnson’s last season managing. In 2014 Johnson will become a special adviser to General Manager Mike Rizzo. Afterwards, Mike Rizzo has said he would like Johnson successor to come from within the Nationals organization.
Johnson became manager in June 2011 after Jim Riggleman resigned. He’ll turn 70 in January, becoming the oldest manager in baseball.
Davey Johnson led the Nationals to their first ever National League East title as well as managing the team’s veterans to rookies in a way that built the successful season. He’s currently a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year by the BWAA.
In other news, first baseman Adam LaRoche declined the Nationals offer of one-year and $13.3 million on Friday per the MLB Players Association and the Washington Post.
LaRoche won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger with the Nationals this season. The team is still able to sign him, however if he doesn’t and signs with another team, the Nationals will receive a compensatory draft pick.
Today also marks one year since Wilson Ramos was held after being kidnapped in Venezuela. The catcher was taken from his family home on November 9, 2011 and became the first Major League Baseball player to be kidnapped. Ramos was held for 51 hours and rescued in a gun fight in the mountains of Venezuela.
Ramos is now rehabbing from his two knee surgeries from his injury on May 12 in which he torn his meniscus and damaged enough to need another surgery to repair another torn ligament. He stayed in Washington over the off season to be able to visit his physical therapist and work out.
Since his kidnapping Ramos has not been back to Venezuela, but he plans to return to spend time with his family once he’s finished with rehab. He says he still loves his country as well. Understandably, Ramos said it’s hard to forget about his ordeal. The promising catcher of the future says even though it will always be a part of his life, he doesn’t want the event to define him.