Currently, in Major League Baseball, there are seven managerial openings. With Joe Madden being hired by the Angels. The presently vacant managers’ spots are the Cubs, Giants, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, and Royals. So with so many openings, we look at who could potentially be selected to fill the vacancies. Bleacher Report had a poll for each club’s vacant manager spot, and we list the results below. And check out our previous article, where we speculated which managers might get fired. So we select our new managers.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
When it comes to the Kansas City Royals, they are a team rich with history. And the team is going through a rebuild so whoever is chosen to be the new manager will have to be part manager, part teacher. And that tag agrees with Mike Matheny. Matheny had a mostly veteran squad during his time in St. Louis but also had some talented young players. This would be a different gig for Matheny but someone that could do a great job with a rebuilding team.
Clint Hurdle was a staple for a Pittsburgh team that seemed to be in the hunt for many years this decade. However, over the last few seasons, that has not been the case. That would lead to a change at the managerial spot. And much like the Royals, this small market club will take some time to rebuild and need a manager that can teach as well as manage. And Jeff Bannister has done that in the past with the Texas Rangers.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
This is one where the Bleacher Report fans voting, and I disagree. I think that if Buck Showalter’s name were on this list, it would be much higher than Ron Washington and Mike Scioscia. San Diego’s $300 Million man, Manny Machado, has already made his desire for a new manager known. And that desire is for his old manager, Buck Showalter. Buck has a brilliant baseball reputation as an innovator and an “old school” manager. And when your star player voices his opinion for a logical choice, it’s a choice that needs to be considered.
This season the Philadelphia Phillies had a lot of pressure on them after signing Bryce Harper to a $330 million 13 year deal. So when the Phillies were eliminated from contention and finished 4th in the NL East, a change would need to be made. Managers are the ones that would shoulder the blame and that would be Gabe Kapler. Kapler had a rocky start from the beginning of his tenure in Philadelphia. And there was no middle ground with a guy like Kapler, who relied heavily on statistical analysis. Philadelphia is a hard-working blue-collar town and needs a manager that embodies hard work. And they also need a manager that will gel with superstar Bryce Harper. That man is Dusty Baker
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
In a change that was known from the beginning of the season, the legendary Bruce Bochy would walk away from the game and retire at season’s end. And to paraphrase an old saying, one team’s managerial firing is another team’s managerial hiring. Gabe Kapler has a special connection to the Giants’ front office and Farhan Zaidi. This connection and Kap’s reliance on the analytics should give Kapler the keys to the city by the bay.
NEW YORK METS
There has been a lot of turmoil over in Flushing, NY, as the Mets have gone through hard times with inconsistency and serious injuries at detrimental times to significant players. In 2018, the Mets would bring in a first-time manager Mickey Callaway. This hiring was seen as a bright new direction for the boys from Queens. Now, after two seasons, another change is being made. And a new manager will be required.
There is a growing belief that Joe Girardi is the top candidate for the Mets opening. However, in my opinion, Carlos Beltran should be the prime candidate. Beltran is known as a student of the game and a great baseball mind. Bringing in a former superstar like Beltran with his winning pedigree can aid a team that needs a change in culture.
The manager’s position left vacant by the “mutual” parting of ways by the Cubs and Joe Madden. The Bleacher Report poll has Cubs fans selecting a former player and fan-favorite David Ross. And while Ross would be an incredible candidate because of his baseball intelligence, another former Cubbie would be better, Joe Girardi.
The former Yankee manager is primed to return to the dugout. The Chicago native also has ties to the Cubs organization and would be a perfect fit as the contrary to Joe Madden. Girardi has more of a structured approach than Madden’s relaxed attitude. This structure and Girardi’s attention to detail will have the Cubs playing a bit more fundamentally. This back to basics approach will push the Cubs back atop the NL Central.