The Padres interviewed Ozzie Guillén last week as part of their ongoing managerial search, report Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic (Twitter link). Guillén joins Brad Ausmus, Mike Shildt and Luis Rojas as known candidates for the position.
Guillén’s sit-down with San Diego is his first known managerial interview since he was let go by the Marlins nearly a decade ago. The 57-year-old has continued to maintain interest in landing another shot over the years since, however. While he’s been away from the dugout, Guillén has spent time in the broadcast studio, working with ESPN and NBC Sports Chicago.
Of course, Guillén is far better known for his previous playing and managerial runs than for his days as a broadcaster. He played in the majors from 1985-2000, spending the bulk of his career with the White Sox. After hanging up his cleats, he moved into coaching and landed a managerial position rather quickly. Over the 2003-04 offseason, the White Sox tabbed the then-39-year-old to take over the dugout.
Guillén’s time on the bench was almost immediately successful. The Sox posted winning records in each of his first three seasons at the helm, including a 99-win campaign in 2005 that culminated in Chicago’s third World Series title — their first in 88 years. By 2007, the team had taken a step back. They rebounded to win another division title in 2008 but didn’t make the postseason again for the remainder of Guillén’s tenure. He was let go at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
The Marlins signed Guillén not long after, but his time in Miami proved very brief. Despite an ill-fated contention effort the prior winter, Miami stumbled to a 69-93 season in 2012. They dismissed Guillén after just one season, and he hasn’t been on a major league bench since then. (Guillén has managed professionally in Venezuela more recently).
In each of his two previous hiring cycles, Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller has tabbed a first-time skipper (Andy Green and Jayce Tingler, respectively). Chairman Peter Seidler has stated that previous managerial experience won’t be a prerequisite for this hiring cycle either, but the Friars’ publicly-known candidates have all managed in the majors before.
Shildt and Rojas were managers elsewhere this past season, while Ausmus managed as recently as 2019. Given how long it has been since he was last in a major league dugout, Guillén would certainly qualify as a more out-of-the-box candidate than the rest of that group. There aren’t many available options with his kind of resume, though, even if his best seasons are by now more than a decade in the past.