The Nationals have fired manager Dusty Baker. It's the right call. 2018 is going to be a massively important year for the franchise and they need to shake off losing in the NLDS for the fourth times in four tries since 2012.
The reason next year is huge for them? It will be Bryce Harper's final season before free-agency. Washington has had him for six years now and they have...not a lot to show for it. Four NL East crowns, but zero playoff series wins.
Whoever the Nationals hire to replace Dusty will be Harper's fourth manager in seven years. That's not a great look, and it wouldn't surprise me if it leads to him choosing to play elsewhere a year from now. Bryce is going to make money wherever he goes. Maybe signing the largest contract ever is important to him, or maybe he just wants to win. We don't know.
All I know is that I can't think of a reason (aside from money) he would stay loyal to Washington. The Nationals sign a ton of Scott Boras clients, and they may end up offering the biggest contract, but I can guarantee that if he takes meetings with organizations like the Cubs and Yankees he's going to be blown away by how well run they are.
Not to say the Nationals aren't well run, but I just wonder if he's ready for a change of scenery following all these first round exits and managerial changes. We are finally seeing the best pitcher of our generation in the World Series this year. It would be good for baseball if one the game's best (and most fun) position players could get there too. For that to happen it may have to be somewhere other than Washington.