I had a whole different intro to these managerial notes and a post ready to publish – I’d say I was five minutes away – when the news on the Joe Espada and Gabe Kapler interviews came down. It is amazing how much of the post that blew up, so I’ve had to completely recalibrate.
OK, things and stuff of note from the managerial circuit …
- One of the Cubs’ internal managerial candidates is a candidate with another club:
Per sources, the Giants have interest in longtime Padres outfielder and current Cubs coach Will Venable. A look at where the managerial search stands through two weeks: https://t.co/6D5BD6mbcB
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) October 14, 2019
- Although Venable is not viewed as a favorite for the Cubs’ job, it’s important to remember that he very much fits the mold of the modern manager: young, smart, front office experience, and coaching experience. I’d want to talk to him, too.
- Dusty Baker is back in the managerial news, as he’s one of many veteran managers the Phillies are going to interview:
The latest reports indicate the Phillies plan to interview Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker for manager. Mike Bell is set to interview Monday with the Mets. He is one of 5 known Mets candidates, along with Girardi, Carlos Beltran, Derek Shelton and Luis Rojas.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 13, 2019
- Color me extremely unsurprised that the Phillies’ process, which is being driven completely by a frustrated owner, is heavy on established “name” managers. That doesn’t mean it won’t work out for them in the end – these are very successful managers! – but definitely neuters the heck out of your front office, and puts you immediately behind the 8-ball in getting the best synergy between the dugout and the front office. I suppose it wasn’t working out with Gabe Kapler anyway, so what do I know.
- Speaking of Kapler, he’s pretty clearly intending on getting right back on the horse. Not only is he interviewing with the Cubs, he is also getting an interview with the Giants for their open position – and recall, Kapler was in player development with the Dodgers when Giants President Farhan Zaidi was the Dodgers’ GM.
- As for the Phillies, one of those established names, you see, is Joe Girardi, who is also a Cubs candidate. Girardi is also a big-time Mets candidate, so if he’s the Cubs’ preference, they might have some competition. Then again, I suspect the Cubs would be his preference, so maybe there wouldn’t be any battling at all if they landed on Girardi in the end.
- Interesting to see this write-up out of New York framing the Girardi story as basically “the Mets need to make sure they land Girardi before the Phillies do.” Of course, if Girardi is waiting on the Cubs, and if the Cubs want to talk to Espada first, the whole process might have to wait a minute. I reckon if we learn that Girardi is going with another team in the coming days, it’s going to be because the Cubs let him know he was in the clear to move on.
- As we learned last night, the Cubs won’t be getting an interview with Carlos Beltran, who wants Mets or bust, and there’s another thanks-but-no-thanks to pass on today: former Cub Sam Fuld. The current Phillies “Major League information coordinator” is viewed by many as a solid future big league managerial candidate, but he decided not to take interviews with the Cubs, Pirates, and Mets.
- With that, it seems like the Cubs have their final list of candidates:
Cubs to interview Gabe Kapler and Joe Espada this week for their managerial position. Should be final two candidates.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) October 14, 2019
- So it’s Espada, Kapler, Girardi, Ross, Loretta, and Venable. Honestly, I think you can make a very strong argument for most of them, and a reasonable argument (from what little we know on the outside, anyway). Might see some movement this week.