At least two or three teams have already begun considering managerial candidates, and perhaps a couple more are expected to do the same soon.
The pool these teams they’re weighing undoubtedly contains some real gems. The trick is in identifying them.
Teams are considering a wider and different variety of backgrounds, with the strong preference last year toward younger men with positive playing resumes and winning personalities over long-term coaches or minor league managers.
That tack has seemed to produce mixed results after the small sample size of one season – Alex Cora looks like a home run, and Aaron Boone a hit, for instance – but probably is positive enough that it will likely continue. With that in mind, here’s a list of the guys likely to at least wind up on the lists of the teams looking.
The Rangers and Jays, as we wrote a few weeks back will be running through these and perhaps other names, and the Reds already are looking around despite the team’s improved play under interim Jim Riggleman. Though he’s well-liked and though his winning percentage is 300 points higher than the man he replaced, Riggleman’s only been guaranteed an interview at this point, with others to be interviewed as well.
The Jays are planning to change managers, as was reported in this space and first suggested by Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, with the franchise acknowledging the change is coming following Gibbons' final home game in Toronto on Thursday.
The Orioles are likely to make a change at manager, which was mentioned in this space last week. Though Buck Showalter has done a fine job overall and the official word is that ownership will make a call after the season, there’s no evidence they’re likely to continue on this course after a historically bad season on the field.
The Angels are expected to be in the market for a manager after the long reign of Mike Scioscia, as Rosenthal also suggested. Scioscia denied he’s planning to retire after Rosenthal’s story came out but it’s certain they make a change after the year, no matter the impetus.
As detailed here a few weeks ago, there are a few other managerial situations with questions. (The Mets are apparently not one of them, as sources say their strong play late has solidified rookie manager Mickey Callaway’s hold on the job even though they obviously don’t have their new GM yet.)
Here are the candidates in what is the most comprehensive list you’ll see:
1) Joe Girardi: He put in 10 good years with the Yankees after winning a Manager of the Year award in his only year with the Marlins, where he ultimately clashed with owner Jeffrey Loria. He has a job he’s said to like as an analyst at MLB Network and possibly a standard of pay that’s unlikely to be met in the vast majority of places (he made $4 million with the Yankees by the end). Very likely, there’s only a few places he’d want to manage, with the Cubs (who would seem to be unlikely to have an opening following another successful season, though there are rumors and reports of some tension between Joe Maddon and the front office) thought to be at the top of a very short list. He interviewed and impressed with the Reds when they hired Dusty Baker, though there wasn’t a great belief he’d go there even then, before his decade in New York.
2) John Farrell: The former Red Sox manager won a lot of games with the Red Sox (though Cora’s won more on a per-year basis) and like Girardi has a World Series ring as manager there. With his role as Reds scout, he is very likely to get an interview there, at least, as was reported here. Obviously, he was unable to forge a good relationship with Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski, and by some accounts, some of the Red Sox players, either.
3) Don Wakamatsu: He just took over as interim for the Rangers, and he’s a logical pick with a long record of positive service as manager and bench coach. In some ways it seems almost unfair he never got a second chance after a brief managerial tenure in Seattle, where his downfall appeared to be a rift with Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. at a time the Hall of Famer’s career was winding down.
4) Dusty Baker: He was unfairly fired by the Nationals following two seasons with win totals in the mid 90s (but a devastating loss in the NLDS his second year). Word now is that there was even a two-year extension being negotiated late in the year (for about $3.1M per) when ownership decided to pull it and wait. With more time to think (and after that upsetting defeat), they blew it. Baker doesn’t fit the trend, and he’s not young, but he wins.
5) Mark DeRosa: He’s been connected to the Rangers and Orioles jobs already, and has connections in Texas. DeRosa has the perfect personality, and it’s on display every morning on MLB Network’s MLB Central show. He turned down the Cubs bench coach job and interviewed for the Mets and other jobs. Eventually, he will have managerial offer.
6) Eric Chavez: The former A’s star has been filling in as the Triple-A manager for the Angels and would seem like the likeliest candidate to replace Scioscia. Angels GM Billy Eppler loves him, and it’s understandable considering his terrific personality and temperament (not to mention his fine playing resume).
7) Hensley Meulens: The runner-up for the Yankees’ managerial job has a lovely personality and toiled successfully for years as Giants hitting coach before moving to the front office. He did a nice job for Team Netherlands in the WBC.
8) Sandy Alomar Jr.: The longtime Indians coach with a winning personality seemed to be line for the Indians’ job before they hired Terry Francona (can’t blame them for that), but he’s been passed over enough now that some might wonder why.
9) Raul Ibanez: The longtime major league outfielder is another who’d fit the current profile and has terrific personal qualities, but it isn’t known how interested he is (he turned down a chance to interview for the Yankees job last year).
10) Bo Porter: His first managing opportunity came in his hometown of Houston, but it came with a catch; he had the worst team in baseball, and winning wasn’t necessarily a goal (at least not immediately). He’s been a longtime coach (he oversaw the union camp last spring) and been a candidate many places, including with the Braves before the former regime was fired or forced out.
11) Eduardo Perez: Before he was an excellent announcer with ESPN he was bench coach under A.J. Hinch in Houston. He had to leave that job for a family concern that’s since been resolved. He would have had an opportunity for some big job in Miami had Jorge Mas gotten the team. Terrific personality and smarts, and he fits the current profile. He's bi-lingual, which is a plus as well.
12) Joe McEwing: The well-liked longtime White Sox coach has had several interviews but has yet to get the job. He knows his stuff but the ChiSox played it safer with Rick Renteria.
13) Eric Wedge: The former Indians and Mariners manager has a long association with Jays president Mark Shapiro. The rumor is that he may be the choice to replace Gibbons, though some think they will go younger to fit what’s expected to be a young team, and that could indeed be the case.
14) Stubby Clapp: He’s done a terrific job with Triple-A Memphis, and some have suggested that it’d been suggested to him that he was the one next in line after Mike Matheny before Mike Shildt was tabbed for the job (and given a three-year extension).
15) Michael Young: He fits the prototype of the preferred manager perfectly: smart, personable, excellent playing career, camera ready. Plus, there’s an opening in Texas now. Word coming out of the Metroplex, though, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is that for family reasons the timing may not be right for Young. We have confirmed that is the case, but he'd be a strong candidate in the future.
16) Dave Valle: Yet another MLB Network broadcaster, Valle is as smart about the game as they come. He’s done some managing in the Mariners organization (but not too much) and has a long history running a successful Latin American charity, which should be a plus.
17) Rob Thomson: The Phillies’ bench coach is well-respected and well-liked, just not that well-known.
18) David Ross: A well-known terrific personality, his leadership skills were on display at the end of Game 7 in Cubs’ winning World Series of 2016 when he advised star Anthony Rizzo to breathe. He also got a clutch home run in that game which won’t soon be forgotten.
19) Brad Ausmus: The year away from the dugout was seen as a good idea for Ausmus, whose tenure in Detroit ended a year ago. Very smart but didn’t seem as comfortable with the media as one might have expected (not that everyone cares about the media).
20) Walt Weiss: The former Rockies manager has done great work with Braves infielders, whose obvious improvement was one of many keys in their wonderful story. A terrific guy who was a glue to the great A’s teams.
21) Chip Hale: He had one really good year managing the Diamondbacks followed by one that was not so good. Hard-working guy was also a runner-up with the Mets. Now with the Nats, though he doesn’t deserve the blame for that.
22) Ron Wotus: The longtime Giants bench coach doesn’t fit the current preferred profile but is extremely well respected. Considering the recent trend, possible his best hope may be as Bruce Bochy’s replacement.
23) Barry Larkin: The Reds icon and Hall of Famer is a name that keeps popping up in Cincinnati, though they say he isn’t trying for it now. He got some experience in the WBC.
24) Manny Acta: Currently a Mariners coach, he had runs as a manager with the Nats and Indians, and though it didn’t end great in Cleveland he has a lot of fans.
25) Bob Geren: He is one of the better bench coaches in the game, which might be a curse as well as an attribute. The only managing job he’s had was with boyhood friend Billy Beane but he definitely has the smarts for the job.
26) Rocco Baldelli: The Rays’ quality control guy is well respected among a lot of great execs he’s worked with. And that’s a good title to have this year, when the Rays exhibited more quality than anyone (including me) thought possible.
27) Tim Wallach: The Marlins bench coach is as hard-working and prepared as they come. Terrific gentlemen who had a great playing career might be hurt by his laconic ways and lack of campaigning, but he’d be a good one.
28) Carlos Beltran: He also fits the profile, with the only issue being that he might have been too great a player (Paul Molitor is a rare Hall of Famer currently managing) who may have been such a savant that he didn’t need to pay attention to all the details.
29) Billy Ripken: The feisty younger brother of the legendary Cal Jr. would be a lot of fun. He also has a good job he likes though, at MLB Network
30) Mike Lowell: Yet another MLB Network analyst, he’s the strong, smart, quiet type. Uncertain how interested he is, though.
31) Josh Bard: The Yankees’ bench coach has a good rep and could make some lists.
32) David Wright: Great person who’s exhibited excellent leadership skills throughout his Mets tenure and a willingness to work, as we have seen with his efforts to get back onto the field (he will this weekend).
33) Fredi Gonzalez: The former Marlins and Braves manager was seen as a favorite to get the Tigers job that went to Ron Gardenhire. Things didn’t end well in Atlanta.
34) Sam Fuld: The Stanford man hustled his way into a nice big-league career, and he might win a job if they did it based on SAT scores. H/t to Jon Morosi for suggesting this on MLB Network.
35) DeMarlo Hale: He’s known as a very strong clubhouse communicator who’s been an effective coach on multiple teams. He may not be as comfortable in an interview setting, which could explain why this fine baseball man hasn’t had his chance to date.
36) John McDonald: He was long known as one of the most diligent and prepared players, the overachiever type that frequently makes a good manager.
37) Mark Kotsay: A very dynamic leader who will have a big role someday, either as manager or in the front office.
38) Mike Scioscia: He’s saying he’d like to continue managing after this year, though despite a great run, it’d be a tough sell in most places considering his need to have control and past sport-high salary of $6M (if he expects similar pay).
39) Glenallen Hill: He seems to have made a nice impression with the Rockies.
40) Jason Giambi: Terrific personality, limited experience. Fits to a T.
41) Charlie Montoyo: The ultra successful longtime Rays minor-league mangerwas in recent years promoted to the Rays major-league staff, which considering how their year is going, can’t hurt.
42) Moises Alou: The former star has been working in the Padres front office.
43) Jorge Velandia: The former infielder has been serving a variety of coaching and player personnel roles for the Phillies and had an interview before Gabe Kapler was ultimately hired to manage the Phillies.
44) David Bell: His dad had two cracks at it, some think he will get a chance, and maybe in San Francisco.
45) Wil Venable: The former Princeton basketball player is now serving as first base coach with the Cubs, which is a good place to look for hires.
46) Chili Davis: The Cubs’ exceptional hitting coach is the sneaky funniest guy in baseball, which can’t hurt.
47) Gary DiSarcina: The Mets’ coach has had several key coaching roles.
48) Joe Espada: Well-respected coach lacks Q rating, though he’s had some very good jobs, including special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman and bench coach for A.J. Hinch.
49) Ron Roenicke: The low-key new Red Sox bench coach will be at Cora’s side throughout the playoffs, giving the former Brewers manager some exposure.
50) Doug Mientkiewicz: The former Twins player lef the Toledo Mud Hens into the playoffs, which doesn’t happen very often.
51) Ron Washington: He seemed to be in line (either him or Porter) for the Braves job until John Hart was let go in Atlanta. Has some real strengths and that one real blemish.
52) Lloyd McClendon: The former Mariners manager shouldn’t be judged by failing to get to the playoffs in Seattle. He is not alone.
53) Brad Mills: He’s been a candidate for a long time while doing great work as a coach, but as with Wotus, time may be running out.
54) Jim Riggleman: He’s done a nice job with the Reds, but their fade isn’t helping him.
55) Buck Showalter: He is as prepared as they come (though I can’t imagine he prepared for this sort of season).
56) John Gibbons: He’s a very good manager, but he likes to do things his way (a no-no in today’s game).
57) Jeff Banister: He certainly made an impact those first couple years in Texas.
Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.