Managers And GMs On Expiring Contracts

If you haven't gotten enough of this offseason's dugout and front office hot stove action, it's never too early to look ahead to what positions could be open next winter.  With a tip of the hat to Cot's Baseball Contracts, here's a look at the managers and GMs who are entering the final year of their current deals.

  • BaltimoreWe've already heard that Andy MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, isn't planning to discuss an extension this winter.  This isn't necessarily a sign that MacPhail is either a lame duck or wants to leave after next season, since Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun points out that MacPhail isn't the type to negotiate a new contract in the media.
  • Boston — Terry Francona is technically on this list since 2011 is the last guaranteed year of his contract, but he has club options for both 2012 and 2013.  Barring something totally unforseen, it's a lock that the Red Sox will pick up those options and have their two-time World Series-winning manager in the dugout for years to come.
  • Chicago — Ozzie Guillen has a club option for 2012 that becomes guaranteed if the White Sox win the AL Central next season, and the manager has been vocal about wanting to "know where he stands in the eyes of the organization."  Given the roller-coaster relationship between Guillen and GM Kenny Williams, who knows what might happen next winter if the Sox aren't division champions.  Williams, for his part, has a unique perpetual contract with the club that rolls over every season and pays him a year's severance if he's fired.  Williams would probably be favored to stay if he and Guillen's relationship ever deteriorated into a 'he goes or I go' showdown.
  • Cincinnati — Manager Dusty Baker has already received an extension from the Reds, and GM Walt Jocketty is likely to receive the same treatment this offseason.
  • Detroit — The Tigers have almost $70MM worth of salaries coming off the books, thus making it a very important winter for GM Dave Dombrowski to set up not just the 2011 Tigers as contenders, but the next several editions of the team.  Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland built up a lot of goodwill in Detroit after winning the AL pennant in 2006, but the Tigers haven't returned to the postseason since.  Leyland already feels the pressure, and though Dombrowski has done an admirable job in rebuilding the Tigers from their laughingstock status at the start of the century, the GM could be on the hot seat too if this winter's moves backfire in 2011.
  • New York — The three-year extension that Brian Cashman signed after the 2008 season is up after 2011, but it's hard to see Cashman leaving, especially if he gets another World Series ring this fall.  As we've seen with Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, the Yankee policy of avoiding in-season negotiations extends to even the franchise's biggest names, so we likely won't hear any news about a new deal for Cashman until October 2011 at the earliest.
  • Philadelphia — Charlie Manuel signed a one-year extension for 2011 after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, and GM Ruben Amaro Jr.'s deal also runs out after next season.  The Phils won't let either man go anywhere. 
  • Pittsburgh — GM Neal Huntington signed an extension through 2011 last winter and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him receive another one-year extension this offseason.  The Pirates have seen their loss total increase in each of the three seasons of Huntington's tenure (95 to 99 to 105) and the firing of manager John Russell indicates that there is some urgency in Pittsburgh to get the franchise back on track.  Expectations are still very modest for next year's club, but another 105-loss campaign will probably get Huntington fired.
  • San Francisco — Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean both have club options for 2012 that look like locks to be picked up given the Giants' ongoing playoff success.
  • Texas — Jon Daniels is under contract through 2011 but he has the option of opting out of his Rangers contract this winter since the team was sold.  There have been whispers about the Mets being interested in Daniels, but there has been no contact between the Amazin's and the Texas GM.  As in the Giants, Phillies and Reds situations, playoff success is a great way to earn an extension.  Count on Daniels and manager Ron Washington to still be at the Ballpark through 2012.
  • Washington — Though Stephen Strasburg's injury erased any hope the Nationals had of contending next season, the team is ready to spend some money this winter, even looking at top-tier free agents like Cliff Lee.  The bottom line is that continued improvement is expected in Washington, or else manager Jim Riggleman won't have his club option picked up for 2012.


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9 Comments on "Managers And GMs On Expiring Contracts"

4 years 11 months ago

The Red Sox damn well better pick up Francona’s contract. I hear enough complaining about Francona from Boston fans who want to play armchair manager. But the fact that Francona is able to completely ignore the criticism from the media makes him a good manager in Boston. The fact that he has a 29-17 record in the postseason which includes an 8-0 record in the World Series makes him a great manager in Boston.

4 years 11 months ago

No way Boston doesn’t pick up his option. Those people who don’t want him are just the bandwagoners who don’t really know baseball.

4 years 11 months ago

I know, but those bandwagoners tend to piss me off more than people who hate Red Sox fans simply because they root for the Red Sox. Yeah, I also figure picking up Francona’s option is a guarantee… all else being equal, wouldn’t be shocked to see his tenure extended again.

4 years 11 months ago

“Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean both have club options for 2012 that look like locks to be picked up given the Giants’ ongoing playoff success.”


4 years 11 months ago

Bad use of words:By “de facto GM” you make it sound as if MacPhail has to serve GM duties in the absence of one. He is just like any other President (or Vice President) of Baseball Operations (e.g. Yankees Brian Cashman, Rays Andrew Friedman, Theo Epstein, Billy Beane, etc..), which is the senior title that goes to franchise managers of his experience level. Just because the Orioles are a losing team, what makes their executives “de facto” and other teams’ managers aren’t?

4 years 11 months ago

I love these writers who say “Neil huntington may be fired because the organization wants to get on the right track”. Oh yeah, signing Jeremy Burnitz and Joe Randa really put the organization back on track, RIGHT?

They hired HIM to right all the bad contracts and depleted farm system left over by Dave Littlefield. If not for Neil, Jeff Locke would still be in the Braves organization, and the Pirates probably wouldn’t be so agressive with international scouting. Kudos to the Pirates owners for building a quality team on minimizing costs.

4 years 11 months ago

I really don’t believe Riggleman is the guy to take the Nationals to the next level. I didn’t like the way he managed second base this year, nor the blatant misuse of Willie Harris over Morse. But hey, give him another year, and depending on what the Nationals do this off-season, if we aren’t sniffing .500, give him the boot.

4 years 11 months ago

The amount of money coming off the Tigers payroll due to expiring contracts this winter is $ 75.1 million. Let’s get the figures right, shall we?
In addition, there is only one player scheduled for a significant salary increase, and that’s Verlander getting a $ 6 MM raise.
There are only four arbitration eligible players, Miner and Zumaya who spent the season on the DL, plus Galarraga and Raburn who made just over the minimum last year and are in for a modest raise.
The Tigers do have money to spend, but a GM that hasn’t signed a single free agent position player to a multi year contract since Ordonez before the 2005 season. That’s five years. Just don’t expect Dombrowski to get in on any of the most coveted free agent players.

4 years 8 months ago

You forgot about Tony La Russa with the Cardinals who has a 2012 mutual option, although he’s kind of unique in that he now decides every offseason whether to manage the Cardinals for another year or retire, while the team will always welcome him back for as long as he decides to keep doing it.