The Astros’ sign-stealing scandal has sent shockwaves around the baseball world, including the sudden creation of three managerial vacancies in less than four days. With A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora, and now Carlos Beltran out of work, the Astros, Red Sox, and Mets are all looking for new managers less than a month before the start of Spring Training. Here’s the latest on the three openings…
- Though Dusty Baker had expressed interest in the Astros job, the longtime skipper tells Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle that he has been yet to be contacted by the organization. Such names as Buck Showalter and John Gibbons have already been interviewed by the team, though Baker isn’t necessarily counting on a future call, saying “I’m thinking that if they really needed or wanted you, there’s a good chance somebody would have stepped up by now.” As for other Astros candidates, Rome lists bench coach Joe Espada as a potential hire, though notes that the team might prefer to bring in an outside manager without any links to the controversy engulfing the franchise.
- The Mets are considering quality control coach Luis Rojas, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter). Rojas seems like a logical candidate, as he received two interviews when the team was doing its initial search for a new skipper last fall, though Rojas wasn’t among the reported finalists for the job. Installing a familiar face from the current staff might be preferable to bringing someone in from outside the organization at this late stage of the offseason, though Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters (including The Athletic’s Tim Britton) that internal and external candidates are under consideration, as the club so recently did background on a number of managerial candidates before Beltran was hired.
- One known quantity that doesn’t appear to be on the Mets’ radar for now is former manager Terry Collins, as SNY’s Andy Martino (Twitter link) writes. Collins has worked as a special assistant in New York’s front office since leaving the dugout after the 2017 season.
- Cora’s firing leaves the Red Sox with what as Alex Speier of the Boston Globe simply describes as “a devastating mess,” as a managerial vacancy adds yet another layer of complication to what has already been a challenging offseason for newly-hired Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. If an outside hire is indeed explored, it will take time away from Bloom when he could be focusing on a trade market that could be opening up, as many of the top free agents have now been signed. Promoting from within carries its own set of difficulty, however, since the Red Sox organization that is facing its own league investigation over alleged use of electronic sign-stealing. It already seemed like the Red Sox were somewhat stuck in limbo waiting for the fallout of this investigation, as well as waiting for the trade market to blossom so that some larger salaries could be moved off the payroll (though both Bloom and principal owner John Henry have denied that avoiding the Competitive Balance Tax is a chief offseason priority).