The Nationals announced on Friday that Dusty Baker will not return as the team’s manager for the 2018 season. Baker’s contract only ran through the 2017 season, but the two sides had reportedly been discussing the possibility of a reunion prior to today’s announcement. The Nats offered the following statement in their release: “The Lerner family, on behalf of the entire organization, would like to thank Baker for his two years in the dugout. He led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in our history and represented our club with class on and off the field. We wish him the best going forward. The contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired. The Nationals’ search for a new manager will begin immediately, and we will work with that person to build his coaching staff.” Baker, 68, won 95 games in his debut season with the Nationals last year and followed that up with a 97-win campaign in 2017 despite myriad injuries to key players (e.g. Adam Eaton, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper) and an early-season bullpen mess. Rumblings about his lack of a contract for the 2018 season began to surface this summer, but the general consensus while the Nationals were winning during the regular season was that the two sides would eventually work out an agreement to extend their relationship.