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Davey Lopes leaves Dodgers to coach first base for Nationals

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will have a new first base coach in 2016, as Davey Lopes was hired on Thursday by the Nationals after five seasons in Los Angeles.

Lopes will coach first base in Washington, where he is reunited with former teammate Dusty Baker, who was introduced as manager of the Nationals on a two-year contract on Thursday. Baker and Lopes were teammates on the Dodgers from 1976-1981.

Lopes coached first base for the Nationals in 2006.

The Dodgers are still sorting out their managerial search, with their new skipper likely to choose the bulk of his own staff. The contracts of all Dodgers coaches have expired, and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Oct. 22 that he told the coaching staff they were free to look elsewhere if another opportunity presented itself.

In his five years as a coach with the Dodgers, Lopes was also the club's baserunning instructor, the same role he served in Philadelphia (along with outfield instructor with the Phillies) from 2007-2010.

The Dodgers' 75.9-percent stolen base success rate in 2011, Lopes' first season, is the second-best rate for the franchise since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. Though that is also a mostly personnel-driven stat. In 2015 the Dodgers stole only 59 bases and at a 63.4-percent success rate, ranking 13th and 15th, respectively, in the National League.

After getting drafted by the Dodgers in 1968, Lopes had a 16-year major league career from 1972-1987 with four different teams, the first 10 years with the Dodgers. Lopes, 70, has stayed busy ever since his playing career ended, either coaching first base or managing on a major league staff every year starting in 1988.

Lopes managed the Brewers from 2000-2002, and has been first base coach in Texas (1988-1991), Baltimore (1992-1994), San Diego (1995-1999, 2003-2005), Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.