“This had absolutely nothing to do with negotiations, dollars,” Rizzo said. “It was not a negotiation with Dusty.”
The contracts for the members of Baker’s coaching staff are also finished. The team said it would work with its new manager to fill those positions.
The moves come the week after Washington was eliminated from its N.L. division series against the Chicago Cubs with a 9-8 loss at home in Game 5 — and Baker was front and center during a public relations debacle involving whether Stephen Strasburg would pitch in Game 4 of that series. The Nationals were bounced from the postseason in the division series round in 2016 against the Los Angeles Dodgers; that one also ended with a Game 5 loss at home by one run.
Baker’s teams have now lost 10 consecutive games with a chance to advance in the postseason. His career postseason record as a manager is 23-32.
With Rizzo as general manager, the Nationals have won four division titles since 2012 but have yet to win a playoff series.
Other teams currently looking for a manager include two other members of the N.L. East: the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.
This outcome, essentially, is what Baker was worried about as far back as spring training in February, when he made clear his desire for a new contract, knowing his was up after 2017.
Before the series against the Cubs began, Baker was asked about his future in Washington.
“I’ve given some thought to some things, but we were told that we were waiting until after the season to make a determination,” he said at the time. “There’s a good chance I’ll be back.”
Rizzo, meanwhile, sounded a similar note before the division series, saying then: “We’re both confident that he’ll be back with us, but we haven’t had any conversations about it.”
But Rizzo said on Friday that he and the Nationals’ owners thought that “after Game 5, this was the right decision to make.”
Despite a host of injuries to key players, including the 2015 N.L. most valuable player, Bryce Harper, the Nationals were 97-65 this season, finishing 20 games in front in their division.
In 2016, Baker’s first in Washington, the club was 95-67, and he finished third in voting for N.L. manager of the year.
In all, Baker, 68, has spent 22 seasons as a big-league manager, accumulating more than 1,800 regular-season wins with the San Francisco Giants, the Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds and the Nationals. Baker also was a player in the majors for 19 years.
On Friday, hours after telling him he no longer was wanted in Washington, Rizzo referred to Baker as “a Hall of Fame-type of manager.”