It’s pink slip Sunday in Major League Baseball, as disappointing seasons are leading to manager firings.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle both got axed before Sunday’s games began. By Monday, more managers could be looking for work too. That’s how much turnover is possible in the managerial ranks.
Some teams have already made the decision to go in another direction. Others are weighing their options. And others still are rumored to be basing their decisions on who becomes available.
It’s a lot to keep track of. So we’ve decided to break things down a bit to let you know who’s in, who’s out and which teams might be hours away from beginning the search to hire a new manager.
Already fired Sunday
Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs
The decision may seem like a surprise because Maddon led the Cubs to the postseason in each of his first four seasons in Chicago, including bringing the franchise its first World Series title in 108 years back in 2016. However, the team’s collapse in September has led many to believe the Cubs will go in a new direction. He immediately becomes a candidate for the San Diego Padres and possibly the Los Angeles Angels.
Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
Given the terrible results on the field and the turmoil that's surfaced off the field in Pittsburgh, it seemed more likely than not that Clint Hurdle would be fired. There were some conflicting reports about Hurdle’s status for 2020, but ultimately the Pirates opted to go a different direction after nine years.
Could be out next
Mickey Callaway, New York Mets
Callaway’s days appeared to numbered in May. Then the Mets rebounded and nearly pushed for a postseason spot. In the end, they settled back to being more discombobulated than an actual contender. Given the disappointing conclusion, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen might be anxious to hire his first manager.
Mickey Callaway not worried about his job status ahead of his 19-hour drive home (media guide lists his residence as Santa Rosa Beach, FL):
"I don't have any anxiety. I'm proud of what we did this year. ... I'm proud of how hard I worked, and I left everything on the field."
— Gerard Gilberto (@Gerard_Gilberto) September 29, 2019
Brad Ausmus, Los Angeles Angels
Ausmus’ future might be tied to another manager on this list. If Joe Maddon becomes available and the Angels think they have a chance to hire him, it’s likely Ausmus will be let go after just one season. Granted, it was a disappointing season that saw the Angels finish fourth in the AL West. But that alone wouldn’t typically be grounds for dismissal.
Gabe Kapler, Philadelphia Phillies
Kapler was on the hot seat coming into the 2019 season. Then the Phillies went out and not only missed the postseason, but flirted with a losing record despite adding Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura to the lineup. If the Phillies keep him, Kapler could be the first manager to go in 2020 if Philadelphia starts slow.
Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
Seattle started the season 13-3. Then the wheels fell off. Since that point, the Mariners are 54-90. That could spell doom for Servais. Though with the Mariners now committed to rebuilding, it’s possible they’ll stick with him for one more season.
October Hot Seat
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s only really one name on the list because it’s a pretty unique situation. The Los Angeles Dodgers, if saddled with another October disappointment, could decide to move on from Dave Roberts. Some fans have been calling for his job since last year’s World Series loss — the Dodgers’ second in a row. The Dodgers were slow to reassure Roberts of his job after last season, but then did sign him to a four-year extension before the season started. That would make Roberts seem safe, but crazier things have happened.
Could have been fired, but now appear safe
Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins
Derek Jeter and company are always keeping us on our toes. With the Marlins starting to advance in their rebuilding plan, and with Don Mattingly's contract set to expire at season's end, it seemed now would be a logical time for Miami to change directions at the manager position. Instead, the team signed Mattingly to a two-year extension that will keep him involved during a critical phase in the rebuild.
Rick Renteria, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox haven’t done much under Renteria, winning 67, 62 and 71 games during his three-year run. A lot of that was by design with the franchise committed to rebuilding, but there were heightened expectations in 2019 that clearly weren’t met. That seemingly opened the door for a change, but general manager Rick Hahn has already confirmed Renteria will return in 2020 to oversee the “next phase.”
Ron Gardenhire, Detroit Tigers
At 46-113, the Tigers have already wrapped up the worst record in MLB. In many cases, that would be grounds for firing the manager. But the Tigers know they have bigger problems. As such, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman is reporting that Ron Gardenhire’s job is safe and he will return for the final year of his contract in 2020.
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants
Bochy took the drama out of this situation in spring training when he announced his intentions to retire after 25 years of managing, the last 13 of which were spent in San Francisco. The future Hall of Famer entered his final weekend with a 1,052-1,052 record and three World Series titles with the Giants. For his career, Bochy has won 2,003 games.
Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals
Bruce Bochy isn’t the only World Series winner slated to manage his final game on Sunday. Ned Yost, who oversaw the Royals’ championship team in 2015, will walk away after 16 seasons in the dugout for Kansas City and the Milwaukee Brewers. The respected skipper enters his final game with a 1,202-1,340 career record.
Andy Green, San Diego Padres
The Padres didn't wait around to determine Andy Green's fate. The fourth-year manager was relieved of his duties on Sept. 21, leaving bench coach Rod Barajas to serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season. Green's fate was sealed when the Padres failed to take a notable step forward following the offseason signing of Manny Machado. With Machado, Eric Hosmer and rookies Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack forming a strong core, the Padres job might be the most attractive managerial opening in MLB.
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