The latest managerial buzz from around baseball…
- Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is “leaning toward” retaining manager Aaron Boone at the moment, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports. A Wild Card exit and a regular season that likely didn’t live up to lofty fan expectations (despite 92 wins) has made Boone an increasingly large target for ire among the fanbase, but Olney suggests Steinbrenner does not place the blame at Boone’s feet. Of course, his return (or departure) is a two-way street due to the fact that Boone’s contract expires at season’s end. The Mets and Padres will both be looking for new skippers, and it’s at least possible another opening could yet emerge. Someone with Boone’s experience could also draw interest from clubs in a variety of front-office roles, if he wished to go that route. Boone said last week that he “loves” being the Yankees’ skipper and “going to work with this group of players.”
- If Boone did happen to leave the Yankees, Olney hears from rival executives that Astros bench coach Joe Espada could be one of the candidates to become New York’s next manager. Espada is a known commodity in the Bronx, having worked from 2014-2017 as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman and then as the team’s third base coach. Espada was considered by the Cubs, Angels, and Giants for their recent managerial openings, and he was one of the finalists (and reportedly the favorite at one point late in the hiring process) for the San Francisco job that eventually went to Gabe Kapler.
- Buck Showalter’s name has come up in speculative fashion as the Mets and the Padres begin their searches for a new skipper, and the 64-year-old definitively tells Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic that he does not consider himself retired from managing. Showalter says it’s “an honor” just to be mentioned as a candidate in ongoing managerial searches but adds that he has yet to be contacted by either club. The former Yankees, D-backs, Orioles and Rangers skipper says he would “never dictate a situation” by refusing to manage a rebuilding club, interestingly adding that he’d have happily taken a pay cut to stay on as the Orioles’ skipper throughout the rebuild but was never asked. Showalter fans will want to check out the Q&A in its entirety for his thoughts on working live TV broadcasts, his time with the O’s and the recent trend toward more experienced managers.