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(Reuters) - The Washington Nationals have named veteran Dusty Baker as their new manager, the Major League Baseball team announced on Tuesday.
A three-times National League Manager of the Year, Baker takes over from Matt Williams, who was fired in October after the regular season.
Baker, 66, will inherit a team that was widely favored to win the National League East and seen as a World Series contender but barely managed a winning record going 83-79 to finish seven games behind the New York Mets.
The Nationals reportedly first offered the manager's job to Bud Black, the 2010 NL manager of the year, but financial terms could not be agreed.
"During our broad search process we met with many qualified candidates, and ultimately it was clear that Dusty's deep experience was the best fit for our ball club," team owner Ted Lerner said in a statement.
Baker arrives in Washington after managing the San Francisco Giants (1993-2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-2006) and Cincinnati Reds (2008-2013). He has a career record of 1,671-1,504.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina. Editing by Steve Keating.