Spring training begins next month and that means baseball is right around the corner. Free agency wasn’t the only thing to watch closely this offseason. Eight new mangers were hired by teams this MLB offseason. It was a very interesting thing to watch and we got our answers right away. The season isn’t too far off so let’s review the managerial hires in the offseason.
A Look Back At The Managers Hired This MLB Offseason
Joe Maddon (Angels)
World Series-winning manager Joe Maddon has agreed to terms to be the Los Angeles Angels next head man. The former Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs manager agrees to a three-year, $12M deal. Maddon has been with the Angels organization before as a minor league player and he was scouting, coaching, and managing in the minor leagues. He joined the major league coaching staff as a first bench coach and a bench coach. His first managerial job was with the Angels as an interim coach as he went 27-24 in 51 games. That wasn’t enough to truly see what he could do so he moved on.
He managed the Rays for nine years while going 754-705. Then he went on to manage the Cubs, who desperately needed a coach like Maddon. He went 471-339 in five years including snapping the Cubs’ championship drought in 2016 after 107 years. Maddon has had eight playoff appearances, four-division tittles, and as mentioned, a championship. The Angels needed some sparks and someone like Maddon to lead this team with star Mike Trout still playing at a very high level. This is a great signing for the Angels and he will bring experience to a club that needs it.
David Ross (Cubs)
This is a very interesting hire as the Cubs hire former catcher David Ross, who played for them just a few years ago, to a contract running through the 2022 season with an option for 2023. Since he played just a few years ago, he has no managerial experience but does know this team very well. After an 84-78 season and failing to make the playoffs, the Cubs felt like hiring Maddon for Ross was the right thing to do. Ross won the World Series in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox and in 2016 with the Cubs. Ross previously spent three seasons in Chicago’s front office as a special assistant to baseball operations after spending 15 years as a player. It’ll be interesting to see if the team embraces him and how he makes his everyday decisions.
Gabe Kapler (Giants)
Long-time San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy retired this past season. He won three World Series since 2010 so they needed to make a splash. They signed former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who has only two years of experience, to a three-year deal. He underachieved with a talented roster so now he gets another shot to impress a lot of fans. In two seasons with the Phillies, he went 161-163. The Giants don’t have the most talented roster so it might take a couple of years to get going they believe Kapler can get this team in the right direction.
Carlos Beltran (Mets)
Another former player now manages his old team as Carlos Beltran agrees to a three-year deal with the New York Mets. They love to have Beltran back in the family and thinks he can get this team back on track, even with no experience. Before becoming back to the Mets, he was a special assistant to the New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. They like the way he can build chemistry in the clubhouse and bring a good atmosphere around the team. The former Mets player goes back to a team he had success with, this time to try and bring a championship to New York.
Jayce Tingler (Padres)
Many people have no idea who Jayce Tingler is. They have no idea what to think about this hire. As many other managers did, he signed a three-year deal. The San Diego Padres hired him because of his “extensive experience” in every aspect of coaching. They really like that he can develop players and the Padres have young talent to do so. He understands the game of baseball very well and what goes into it. The Padres are really close to being the team they want to be and the Tingler hiring will be an important piece to the future.
Derek Shelton (Pirates)
Not only has the Pittsburgh Pirates fired their manager Clint Hurdle, but they also fired their GM Neal Huntington. This Pirates team is a mess right now so the new hirings need to proceed with caution. They hired their new GM Ben Cherrington and Derek Shelton as their new manager. Both have a lot to do to get this team back on track and to be a respectable franchise. It won’t happen overnight but these two have been instilled confidence in them by the Pirates. Shelton fully understands what he’s walking into and what he has to do. He has to get the clubhouse in order and get this team competitive again. It’s a big transition to go from the Minnesota Twins bench coach last year to the manager of a broken team.
Joe Girardi (Phillies)
The Philadelphia Phillies hire a known name in Joe Girardi as their next manager for the next couple of years. A lot of teams sought out after Girardi because of prior experience as a Maimi Marlins and Yankees manager. He won the Manager of the Year award in 2006 with the Marlins and managed the American League team at the All-Star game in 2010. Girardi won his first and only World Series as a manager in 2009 with the Yankees. With his experience and success, the Phillies hope he can bring that to this team and get them to the playoffs and beyond.
Mike Matheny (Royals)
Mike Matheny had success as a manager for the St. Louis Cardinals as he went 591-474 in seven seasons which included an NL Pennant in 2013. As the Kansas City Royals are trying to transition with young players, they hope Matheny brings what they need. He spent a year as the Royals special advisor so he’s familiar with the team. They think he can correct the mistakes he made late in his tenure with the Cardinals. When Ned Yost retired, it was inevitable that Matheny would be the next manager. It’ll be interesting to see how he does with a new and young team.
Around The Diamond
Eight managerial changes in an offseason is a lot. Managers may have underachieved, retired, or it was just time to move on. A new look was needed for all of these teams and it will be interesting how they command the clubhouse. All of these guys are very much qualified to lead their teams and we look forward to seeing what they can do.
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