Thursday, December 7, 2023

2023 MLB manager, GM tracker: Guardians eyeing Stephen Vogt, Red Sox facing pile of rejections from candidates

The end of Major League Baseball’s regular season spells the beginning of the field and general manager carousels. Professional sports is a zero-sum results-based industry. In order for there to be a winner, there has to be a loser. Lose often enough and it’ll be time to find a new job.

Some individuals have learned that lesson the hard way. The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox made executive changes in-season, firing Chaim Bloom and Rick Hahn, respectively. The Red Sox continue to seek for their new top executive, while the White Sox have already named Chris Getz as Hahn’s successor. Mets GM Billy Eppler stepped down after MLB reportedly opened an investigation into the Mets’ use of “phantom” IL stints. The Marlins, fresh off their playoff run, have parted ways with GM Kim Ng after just three years.

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Guardians will have to find a successor for longtime skipper Terry “Tito” Francona, who stepped down at season’s end, while the San Francisco Giants fired manager Gabe Kapler with just a few days left on the schedule. New York Mets skipper Buck Showalter announced prior to the season finale that he would not return in 2024, and the Angels have opted against bringing back Phil Nevin following another disappointing season.

The Mets and Detroit Tigers, meanwhile, have already hired new high-ranking baseball executives. The Mets nabbed David Stearns from the Milwaukee Brewers after years of flirtation. The Tigers then grabbed Jeff Greenberg from the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

You can be certain that more changes are coming across the league. CBS Sports will be chronicling them all below — in both, a handy table format, as well as a team-by-team breakdown of who they’ve interviewed and hired. Consider this your one-stop shop for all GM and managerial news.

MLB manager and GM tracker

Boston Red Sox (executive)

The Red Sox fired Chaim Bloom on Sept. 14 after most of four seasons at the helm. Bloom had led the Red Sox to just one playoff berth. Boston will now seek out a new top baseball operations executive. 

Boston is having trouble securing interviews with top candidates — current Rays advisor and former Rangers GM Jon Daniels, Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes, Phillies GM Sam Fuld, and Twins president of baseball operated Derek Falvey have all declined to interview, according to The Athletic. Former Astros GM James Click has also taken himself out of the running, according to the Boston Globe. Former Marlins GM Kim Ng also declined an interview.

The Red Sox hoped to interview former Marlins GM Michael Hill, Twins GM Thad Levine, former Pirates GM Neal Huntington, and Cubs assistant GM Craig Breslow, according to the WEEI and the New York Post. Assistant GM Eddie Romero is considered the favorite among internal candidates, while Boston has also since interviewed former Giants manager Gabe Kapler for the position.

Cleveland Guardians (manager)

Terry Francona stepped down from the gig following a 23-year run that included the last 11 spent with Cleveland, but didn’t go as far as to announce his retirement. Francona, 64, had dealt with a number of health issues in recent years. At times, those caused him to take a leave of absence from the club.

The Guardians have since interviewed Giants bullpen coach Craig Albernaz, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, and Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough for the position. The Guardians have also been linked to White Sox bench coach Charlie Montoyo and Rangers hitting coach Donnie Ecker, per Paul Hoynes.

Mariners coach Stephen Vogt is “emerging” as a serious candidate, according to Jeff Passan.

Detroit Tigers (general manager)

The Tigers hired Jeff Greenberg, formerly of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, to serve as their new general manager on Sept. 26. Greenberg, who worked in the Chicago Cubs front office in the past, will be Detroit’s No. 2 baseball operations executive, under the watch of president of baseball operations Scott Harris.

The Tigers did not announce any other candidates throughout their search.

Houston Astros (manager)

Dusty Baker, Houston’s skipper since 2020, has reportedly told people inside and outside the organization 2023 will be his final season. Baker, 74, led the Astros to the American League pennant in both 2021 and 2022, winning his first World Series as a skipper in 2022. He is seventh on the all-time managerial wins list.

Los Angeles Angels (manager)

The Angels dismissed Phil Nevin after a season-and-a-half on the job. Nevin originally took over in summer 2022 following Joe Maddon’s firing. He was unable to guide Los Angeles to its first postseason berth since 2014, however, and the Angels decided to make a chance. It’s worth noting that Nevin is the fourth manager the Angels have fired since the end of the 2018 season.

Milwaukee Brewers (manager)

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee’s manager since 2015, will watch his contract elapse at season’s end. Counsell had been rumored to have interest in taking at least a season off. That’s no longer expected to be the case, making him arguably the top available managerial candidate this winter.

New York Mets (executive)

The Mets announced David Stearns as their new top baseball executive on Monday. Stearns had served as the Brewers’ GM from 2019-23. Stearns will now oversee all of the Mets’ baseball operations department, including general manager Billy Eppler, who is expected to remain in that role.

Manager Buck Showalter will not remain with the club for 2024, the final season of his contract. Showalter announced the news himself on Sunday, Oct. 1.

General manager Billy Eppler resigned on Oct. 5 after MLB reportedly opened an investigation into how the Mets used the injured list during the 2023 season.

New York Yankees (manager)

The Yankees are expected to retain manager Aaron Boone next season, though no official announcement has been made. Boone just completed his sixth season with the team. The Yankees finished in fourth place and went 82-80, their worst record since 1992.

San Francisco Giants (manager)

The Giants elected to move on from Gabe Kapler after missing the postseason for the third time in four tries under his guidance. It likely didn’t help Kapler’s case that recent media reports contained anonymous Giants critiquing the overly laid back nature of the clubhouse amid a second-half tailspin.  

The Giants have since interviewed third-base coach Mark Hallberg and assistant coach Alyssa Nakken, and they are expected to soon interview bench coach Kai Correa and former third-base coach Ron Wotus, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle

The Giants have reportedly received permission from the Red Sox to speak to longtime catcher Jason Varitek, according to the New York Post. Varitek currently serves as a player information coach with Boston. 

The Giants will also interview San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin after receiving permission.

Miami Marlins (executive)

After just three years leading the Marlins, Kim Ng will not return to the club in 2024, despite their playoff run. The team said on Oct. 16 that Ng chose not to pick up her mutual option.

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