The St. Louis Cardinals had almost finished interviewing candidates to be their new pitching coach when a surprising new option became available. As the Nationals parted ways with Dusty Baker, they allowed Mike Maddux's contract to expire, too.
"When that happened, we had to move quickly to react to the fact that there was another candidate," Cardinals General Manager Mike Girsch said. "We quickly contacted him and the whole process, did the interviews and all that."
The Nationals wanted Maddux back, and many members of their organization expressed the importance of retaining him in the days after the team announced it would part ways with Baker. But without a manager, the Nationals did not feel they could commit anything to Maddux.
"I talked to Mad Dog [Maddux] the day I talked to Dusty and we couldn't commit to anything that day because we wanted to have the manager under contract and have the manager's input on who we took," Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said. "So he's a well-established, good pitching coach and you saw this season, pitching coaches were in demand and they went pretty quickly. We feel fortunate that we got Derek [Lilliquist]."