A match with the Phillies is not a foregone conclusion, however; Girardi is undergoing a second interview with the Mets today, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link), so he’s still very much in the running for one of Philadelphia’s division rivals. There’s been no indication of a contract offer to this point. Even if (or when) the Phils do make an offer, it’s possible that Girardi will prefer one of the other openings for which he’s interviewed. He’s been tied most prominently to the vacancies in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, and it appears increasingly likely that he’ll be back in a big league dugout in 2020.
Oct. 21: Phillies owner John Middleton had the determining vote in the team’s decision to fire manager Gabe Kapler, and he could wield his power again in finding a new skipper. Middleton’s said to be “leaning toward” Joe Girardi as the choice, while other members of the Phillies’ hierarchy are fans of fellow finalist Buck Showalter, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. There’s no word on whether Dusty Baker, who has also been in the mix, is still a candidate for the job.
Girardi, reportedly the favorite for the position, had his second interview with the club Monday. Unlike Kapler, a first-time MLB skipper at the time of his hiring, Girardi brings a wealth of experience in the role. The 55-year-old oversaw the NL East rival Marlins back in 2006, when he led a low-payroll club to 78 wins en route to NL Manager of the Year honors. The dysfunctional Marlins fired Girardi in the wake of that season, though, and after a year off, he accepted the Yankees’ managerial job entering 2008. Girardi, who ultimately remained in the position through 2017, helped the Yankees to six playoff berths. In Girardi’s crowning achievement as New York’s manager, the team knocked off his next potential employer, Philadelphia, in the 2009 World Series.
Showalter, seemingly Girardi’s main competition, also comes with significant experience as a manager (20 years, to be exact). As of last week, Middleton was reportedly collecting information from players on Showalter. There’s already quite a bit of familiarity between Showalter and key members of the Phillies’ front office, making it unsurprising they’re interested in hiring the 63-year-old. Showalter last managed in Baltimore, where now-Philly president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak worked before landing their current gigs. MacPhail hired Showalter to steer the Orioles, but it doesn’t appear the two will be reuniting if Girardi truly is Middleton’s No. 1 target.