Dusty Baker will not return to manage the Washington Nationals in 2018, the club announced Friday in a startling move for a club that won 97 games and consecutive division championships.

Baker spent two seasons as Washington's manager and won back-to-back NL East titles, but the Nationals were eliminated in the division series both years.

The Nationals went 192-132 under Baker, winning 97 games in 2017. Baker's contract expired after the 2017 season.

Baker was taken aback by the decision, telling USA TODAY Sports he was particularly stunned it took the club 10 days to get back to him with a decision.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me.

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand."

Baker, 68, says he wants to continue managing and has no intention of retiring.

Bryce Harper is a free agent after the 2018 season, so the Nationals will be looking to make the most of what could be his final year with the club.