As reported on Thursday, the New York Yankees have elected to not bring back long-time manager Joe Girardi for the 2018 MLB season. After ten seasons with the franchise, Girardi’s absence is sure to leave a large void within the Yankees clubhouse. Who will go on to replace the man who guided the “Baby Bombers” to the ALCS this past season? Here are five potential candidates:
5. DeMarlo Hale
The current Toronto Blue Jays bench coach has been with the Yankees’ rivals since 2013, but his resume is awfully impressive. Promoted by the Texas Rangers back in 2002 in order to become a first base/outfielders coach at a Major League level, Hale has been part of the MLB background for over fifteen years.
Likely seeking a managerial position in the near future, are the Yankees willing to gamble on an individual who has only previously managed at a Double-A level? The 55-year old has emerged as a potential candidate to receive a position with the Boston Red Sox, but his status on taking any sort of promotion is still unknown.
The Yankees will likely go on to interview Hale for the position in the upcoming weeks, much like a multitude of other outside candidates.
4. Willie Randolph
Remember this guy? The former second baseman of the New York Yankees hasn’t managed in nearly a decade, yet is fully involved with Yankees’ operations involving spring training. Leading the New York Mets to three winning seasons and one division title from 2005-7, Randolph could be severely underrated as a candidate to take over for the Yankees.
Having served as a bench coach behind Buck Showalter from 1993-95, as well as Joe Torre from 1996-2003, the 62-year old has a real case to make in regards to being placed within the spotlight of New York.
With his plaque granted at Yankee Stadium back in 2015, hiring Randolph would in some way correlate to the situation with the Red Sox and former shortstop Alex Cora. This move would generate a lot of buzz, and although it’s far-fetched, the Yankees have done crazier things in the past.
3. Don Mattingly
Bringing in fan-favorite Don Mattingly seems to be a popular opinion within the media, but how realistic is this? With recent ownership changes in Miami, it doesn’t take a whole lot to know that within the MLB, a managerial change soon follows. In addition, being involved with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins as a manager, the addition of Mattingly actually adds up to a degree.
On the other hand, Mattingly is somewhat like Girardi in the sense that he can’t execute within the postseason with a talented roster. With the talented roster of the Dodgers in the palm of his hands from 2013-15, Mattingly was only able to secure one playoff series victory.
Mattingly still has three years left within his contract with the Marlins, therefore, New York would likely be forced to give up prospects or cash considerations in order to receive his services. Would the current Yankees ownership go out of their way their way to pursue a wild card manager? You tell me.
2. Ron Wotus
Wotus, the current bench coach for the San Francisco Giants, is another extremely underrated candidate to take this position in New York. Serving as the right-hand man to manager Bruce Bochy, Wotus is another inexperienced wild card that the Yankees may elect to rely upon.
Before his staffing debut within the MLB, Wotus was an overachieving manager throughout the minors, reeling in six winning seasons (554-412 record) in seven seasons, and also winning Manager of the Year on two of those occasions.
Sure, his name doesn’t pop out like Randolph or Mattingly, but the Yankees will more than likely rely on someone who has merits as a manager, and Wotus fits that bill.
1. Fredi Gonzalez
I believe Gonzalez has the best case to become the new manager of the Yankees, and there are multiple reasons why. For one, Gonzalez has managed both Miami and Florida to five winning seasons through the span of ten years. Those players? By looking within the numbers, the rosters Gonzalez has managed contains fairly young talent, as he is extremely respected throughout the MLB community.
Although he tends to take risks within his lineup and overall strategy, the Yankees would be lucky to interview and consider Gonzalez for this position. In a franchise currently full of prospects and young talent, the 53-year old could be just what New York is in need of.
Having lead the Atlanta Braves to an NL East title in the past, hiring Gonzalez makes the most sense out of any candidate on the current market.
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