Managers And GMs Entering Their Contract Year

As Jim Riggleman would tell you, everyone in baseball wants more job security.  Here is a list of managers and general managers whose contracts expire after 2012, featuring both extension candidates and those on the hot seat this winter.  (Thanks to the always-invaluable Cot's Baseball Contracts for many of the details.)

White Sox: Kenny Williams has a rolling contract that automatically extends itself every year.  Should Williams be fired, the Sox will owe him one year's worth of severance pay.  With Ozzie Guillen now managing the Marlins, the spotlight will be directly on Williams to get the White Sox back on track following their rough 2011 season.  Williams has already made one roll of the dice by hiring first-time manager Robin Ventura.  White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Williams have a strong relationship, but if the team struggles again in 2012, the Sox could blow things up and rebuild under a new general manager.

Tigers: Jim Leyland entered this season as a lame duck and signed just a one-year contract extension from Detroit in August.  This relative lack of security is how Leyland prefers it, however, since he isn't sure how much longer he'll continue to manage.  Given the Tigers' success, one would think they'll let Leyland go year-to-year for as long as he feels up to the job.

Royals: Ned Yost is entering the last year of his contract and I would guess that he'll receive another.  While the Royals don't expect any on-field success right now, the onus is on Yost to ensure that Kansas City's wealth of young prospects continue to develop.  Yost will return as K.C.'s manager in 2013 unless the Royals heavily regress from their 71-91 record of last year, or (even worse) the likes of Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy hit a snag in their Major League seasoning.

Rockies: Colorado's disappointing 2011 campaign puts the pressure on manager Jim Tracy, who is entering the final year of his original three-year pact with the team.  GM Dan O'Dowd recently told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he doesn't foresee any problems with Tracy working as a lame duck.  "Jim is signed through next year and we'd love to have him be manager here for much longer than that," O'Dowd said.

Reds: Dusty Baker signed a two-year extension with the Reds last October.  If Cincinnati takes the unlikely step of trading Joey Votto and starting a mini-rebuilding phase, Baker may not want to stick around while the club builds itself back into a contender.  A Votto deal is a long shot (at least in the short term), however, so barring a poor season for the Reds in 2012, the team will probably pursue another extension with Baker next winter.

Rays: Because Andrew Friedman works without an official contract, his name was already linked to the GM's openings with the Cubs and Astros earlier this year.  Friedman has said he enjoys the challenge of working in Tampa Bay and it would be odd for him to walk away given that the Rays are contenders now and for the foreseeable future given their deep minor league system.  Manager Joe Maddon is similarly very likely to stay, even though his three-year contract runs out after next season.  Tampa Bay's shaky financial situation makes Maddon's status a very minor question mark, but one would think the Rays will do everything in their power to keep Maddon, especially since owner Stu Sternberg said he expects Maddon to manage the team beyond 2012.

Rangers: Ron Washington signed a two-year extension through 2012 in the wake of the Rangers' AL pennant last season.  With Texas on the verge of another World Series appearance, Washington looks to be in line for another new deal.

Indians: GM Chris Antonetti's original five-year contract is up after 2012 and the Indians' progress would indicate that the club will pursue an extension.  The Tribe picked up Manny Acta's 2013 option last month.

Giants: Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy both had their options for 2012 picked up last February, an expected move given San Francisco's 2010 World Series title.  That championship also probably ensures both men will receive extensions at some point over the next year since incoming team CEO Laurence Baer has stated that he wants Sabean and Bochy to stay.  Unless the Giants have a disastrous 2012 campaign, expect Sabean and Bochy to be in San Francisco for years to come.

Dodgers: Ned Colletti can either activate an out clause in his contract after 2012, or 2012 is actually the last year on his deal.  Either way, the general manager will likely be pursued by the club to sign an extension given how competitive the Dodgers were this season in the wake of the ongoing ownership mess.  Of course, Colletti could choose to leave given the uncertainty with the McCourts.  Chicago native Colletti drew some attention from the Cubs last summer, before the Theo Epstein hiring.

Diamondbacks: 2012 is the last guaranteed year for both Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson, though Towers had club options for 2013-14 and 2015-16, and Gibson has a club option for 2013.  Neither man is going anywhere in the wake of Arizona's surprise run to the NL West crown.

Cubs: Mike Quade is signed through 2012 with a club option for 2013.  Rumors are already swirling that Ryne Sandberg could be hired as the Cubs' new manager once Theo Epstein takes over, so Quade could be out of a job once the Epstein era officially begins in Chicago.  

Cardinals: Tony La Russa and the Cards have a mutual option for 2012 and the latest indication is that La Russa wishes to return for another season.  The manager could have a change of heart should Albert Pujols leave for free agency, though La Russa's return could provide some incentive for Pujols to also stay in St. Louis.  It's also worth noting that La Russa is just 35 wins behind John McGraw for second place on the list of all-time regular season managerial wins.

Brewers: Doug Melvin's contract expires after 2012 and given Milwaukee's success this season, he seems like a sure bet to receive an extension.  It will be interesting to see how long a Melvin extension would run; ownership may not want to commit to Melvin for more than three years just to see how he operates in a post-Prince Fielder environment in Milwaukee.  Ron Roenicke is also technically out of contract after next year, but the Brewers hold a club option on the manager for 2013 that is very likely to be exercised.  A new multiyear deal for Roenicke is also not out of the question.

Astros: General manager Ed Wade's deal is up after 2012 but his tenure in Houston could finish early once the sale of the team to Jim Crane is finalized.  A new GM could also spell the end of Brad Mills as the manager, who is contracted through 2012 with a club option for 2013.  While Mills did lead the Astros to the worst record (56-106) in franchise history last season, he didn't have much talent to work with on the Houston roster.


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