Calloni’s Corner: Managerial Openings in the MLB

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Entering the MLB offseason, there are currently eight managing jobs opening around the major leagues, some better than others.

Starting in the AL Central, the Royals longtime manager Ned Yost has announced his retirement, leaving an opening for a new manager in 2020. The Royals situation is that of a rebuilding team seemingly on the incline. The team has found a core of solid players to build around, like Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler, Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield. Adding on to this, the team has a slew of pitching prospects coming up through the ranks, like Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic, as well as top shortstop prospect Bobby Witt Jr. 

Moving on to the AL West, the Angels fired Brad Ausmus after one season, but their outlook is not as positive. The Angels have a depleted farm system, with outfielder Jo Adell as their only big name prospect. The team also lacks quality pitching, as no one on their team fired over 100 innings in 2019. On the bright side, however, whichever manager takes on the Angels gets to have one of the best players in baseball history, Mike Trout, suit up for them 150 games each season.

In the NL East, the Mets moved on from Mickey Callaway after just two dismal seasons at the helm, not assisted by New York media either. For the new Mets manager, he comes into an interesting scenario. The team has some money to work with, and has a decent core, highlighted by rookie power threat Pete Alonso. They also have one of the top rotations in baseball with Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard highlighting the five pitchers. The main issue is the bullpen, which struggled mightily in 2019, and was ranked the worst in all of baseball statistically. On top of that, the new manager will have to deal with 37 year old Robinson Cano, who is depleting fast and is owed roughly $20 million a year for four more seasons.

Staying in the east, the Phillies recently fired manager Gabe Kapler after only two seasons. The Phillies have a very interesting team. They have money to spend, to the point that last offseason the front office considered it “stupid money.” They also have generational talents like Aaron Nola, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. The farm system could be better, but the Phillies have trade chips to change that, such as Maikel Franco. With some pitching help in the bullpen and rotation, the Phillies could definitely be a threat, and a new manager could be the one piece that sets them over the top. 

Moving to the NL Central, the Pirates fired longtime manager Clint Hurdle on the last day of the season. This situation is not great for an incoming manager. The team is depleted of star talent outside of Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds, neither of which will be moved for future assets. The team had one moveable player, Felipe Vazquez, but he was arrested and will not be seeing any baseball action for the next 10 years or so. The team also has no farm system. Their top prospect, Ke’Bryan Hayes, is losing stock quickly. Adding to the misery, the Pirates have little to no money to spend to attempt to compete.

Crossing over into Illinois, the Cubs fired Joe Maddon after a very successful run as manager. They have an interesting situation. The Cubs have little to no money to play with in the offseason, and a core that is soon to hit free agency. On top of that, no prospects to replace those players once they leave. The Cubs might be forced to, once again, enter a lengthy rebuilding process and tear down to start yet another World Series run, like they did for 2016. 

Next, we reach the NL West, starting off with the Giants. The Giants former manager, Bruce Bochy, retired after 12 seasons on the Giants. He leaves them in an interesting state. The team has a lot of large contractual obligations to aging players, like Johnny Cueto and Buster Posey. They are also losing their top starting pitcher, Madison Bumgarner, to free agency with no money left to retain him. Adding to this, the Giants have little to no prospects coming up through the ranks, besides catcher Joey Bart, who should debut in 2020.

Finally, the Padres are the last team with a managerial opening after firing Andy Green. The Padres are finally starting to show some signs of life, getting production from Hunter Renfroe, Fernando Tatis Jr and Manny Machado, amongst others. With that being said, the Padres have the top farm system in all of baseball, with seven top 100 prospects and many more above average prospects looming  behind them. The team also has money to spend and only one bad contract, first baseman Eric Hosmer, who signed an eight year deal and has yet to reach success. This is a managers paradise for a team.

The best managerial openings belong to the Padres, Phillies and Royals, while the worst belong to the Angels, Pirates and Giants. The Cubs and Mets fit somewhere in the middle, until their front offices decide their future direction.