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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

10 MLB managers who may not return for 2019

Buck Showalter

As the playoff race heads to the final stretdch, teams on the other end of things are facing other concerns. A number of managers must be feeling their seats getting warmer, be it because their contracts are coming to an end with no guarantee of renewal or because their struggling teams have whittled away much of their job security. There are certain to be a handful of managerial changes this offseason; the only question is how many there will be.

Here are ten managers who could be sweating out their positions at the end of the season.

10) Paul Molitor, Twins

The disappointing Twins look headed for a sub-.500 season a year after making an appearance in the AL wild-card game, so it’s fair to question if Molitor will face the music for what has to go down as a disappointing season. It’s unlikely that Molitor will pay the price, however, as he’s less than a year removed from signing a new contract with the team. However, his seat is definitely getting warm, as the Twins have been a hugely frustrating club this year. Should he return, his position will bear watching in 2019.

9) Dave Martinez, Nationals

In an ironic twist, the Nationals’ high turnover of managers will likely be what saves Martinez’s job. After all, predecessor Dusty Baker got two years and was fired after delivering much more success than Martinez has, so it’s logical that the rookie manager might be in some trouble. The odds are the Nationals will give Martinez one more year to get it right in an effort to avoid a third manager in as many years. That said, the Nationals have been baseball’s most disappointing club in 2018. Martinez will have one of the hottest seats in baseball once the offseason begins.

8) Mickey Callaway, Mets

After starting 11-1, the Mets have been an unmitigated disaster and an organization in upheaval. They have to hire a full-time general manager, which could impact Callaway’s status even if he’s only in his first season of work in New York. He’s also shown signs of being a bit overwhelmed by both the team’s struggles and the media furor around them. The GM hire could have a big impact on the direction this team goes, so the situation is something to monitor.

7) Don Mattingly, Marlins

Mattingly has a year remaining on his contract, though the fact that the current ownership group did not hire him may work against him. Derek Jeter may prefer to keep him around, as they will have some familiarity from their mutual association with the New York Yankees, but the Marlins haven’t been inspiring. That’s not Mattingly’s fault, but with a long rebuild in progress, the powers that be may simply opt to pick the manager they want to oversee their intended rebuild.

6) Jeff Banister, Rangers

Banister opened his managerial career with two playoff appearances in two years, but he’s fallen on hard times since. He has a club option for 2019 that has not been picked up, leading to a lot of speculation over his status going forward. The Rangers look like they’re headed for a last-place finish in the AL West, which could lead to significant changes. Jon Daniels, the GM who hired Banister, is still there and firmly entrenched, but if the organization opts for a rebuild, they may choose to go with someone else in the dugout to oversee it.

5) Jim Riggleman, Reds

Riggleman still has an interim tag on him after taking over from Bryan Price early in the season. He’s done fairly well with the team, sitting at 59-78 and winning at a much higher clip than Price was, but the Reds haven’t given any clear indication whether he’s done enough to earn the permanent job. As such, he has to be on this list. It’s a bit worrisome that the team hasn’t removed the interim tag by this point.

4) John Gibbons, Blue Jays

Gibbons extended his contract with Toronto prior to the 2017 season, but the aging Jays haven’t won much since, and he’s now headed toward his second consecutive losing season. The Blue Jays have brought in a new front office since Gibbons was first hired, and they may want their own man in the dugout. Gibbons has been in the role since before the 2013 season. It may simply be time for a new voice, which is something Gibbons seems to recognize.

3) Ned Yost, Royals

Yost is an icon in Kansas City, having led the franchise to its first World Series title in 30 years. Ultimately, though, the time has probably come for a mutual parting of ways. Yost’s contract is up at the end of the season, and the struggling Royals look set to embark on what will likely be a lengthy rebuild that the 64-year-old likely won’t want to see out. Yost’s seat isn’t really hot; it just looks like both sides know it’s time to move on.

2) Buck Showalter, Orioles

Showalter is in much the same situation as Yost. The Orioles were awful this year through little fault of his own, as there simply hasn’t been much talent on the roster. The 62-year-old Showalter has an expiring contract, has been in the role since 2010, and probably won’t want to wait through what could be a lengthy rebuilding process. Everyone seems to know how this is going to end to the point that possible replacements for the veteran manager are publicly being tossed around.

1) Mike Scioscia, Angels

The writing appears to be on the wall for Scioscia. His contract is up at the end of the season and he isn’t expected to renew. Despite his denials, the fact that they’re giving potential replacements the opportunity to manage in the minors likely isn’t coincidental. Without the security of his long-term contract, Scioscia might have gone by force if not by choice. His last playoff appearance was in 2014, and the Angels haven’t won a playoff game since 2009. While that’s not entirely his fault, it’s probably time to usher in a new era in Anaheim.


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