The San Diego Padres need a new manager. Here is a look at some sleeper candidates who might be of interest to the club in the coming weeks.
Andy Green was dismissed on Saturday morning of his duties by the San Diego Padres.
The 19th manager in the history of the club was relieved of power towards the end of a very uneventful 2019 season.
In recent comments to the media, it seems evident that the Padres and A.J. Preller will choose a manager relatively quickly as there is much to be done this winter in terms of building the roster. The Padres will make several moves this offseason, and the new manager will surely want to have some input in the coming transactions.
Everyone has heard of Joe Maddon, Mike Scioscia, Mark Loretta, Bruce Bochy, and the rest of the names that have already been linked to the team by multiple reporters. The job will be highly desired among baseball managers.
Let’s explore some names that could be of interest as the San Diego Padres and A.J. Preller make a very critical decision for the future of this franchise. Make no mistake, if this hire does not have success at the helm, A.J. Preller himself will be under scrutiny.
Sandy Alomar Jr.
The .273 lifetime hitter played 20 years at the major league level. He began his career with San Diego and has some local connection as his father coached for the Padres and his hall-of-fame brother also started with the Friars. Alomar is currently a coach for the Cleveland Indians where he has been since 2010. He spent time as the team’s bench coach and even managed the group briefly in 2012. The Puerto Rican native would be a great communicator in the clubhouse. Though he has over 30 years of major league experience, Alomar has not continually managed a team. That could be an essential factor.
The 42-year-old was a fantastic major league player who made over $221 million in his professional career. He spent 20 years in the majors and was well respected by his teammates. There is no question he can lead, but he has minimal coaching experience. The former outfielder is currently a special advisor to the New York Yankees. He interviewed and was considered a finalist for the Yankees’ managerial job that is now held by Aaron Boone. At some point, he will probably be given a chance to coach, but there are some concerns about his lack of experience.
There is no shortage of experience when it comes to Ozzie Guillen. He has over 700 major league wins and a win percentage over .500 in nine major league seasons. The former infielder also won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox with a roster that was not considered the best in the league. Guillen is a great motivator but is very controversial. His last managerial gig ended in Miami with some concerning comment about Fidel Castro that did not go over well in the Cuban community. He has not coached or managed in a while, and there are some concerns that he would not embrace baseball analytics. Consider him a longshot for the job.
This 49-year-old Dominican makes an exciting case for himself. He has six years of managerial experience as he commanded the Nationals (2007-09) and the Cleveland Indians (2010-12). The current third base coach for the Seattle Mariners has remained in the game and is very well versed in the league which is continually changing. He is known to be a very mentally-driven coach who embraces analytics and will use outside forces to make the team better. In this piece by Baseball Prospectus, they write about Acta’s managerial style. This is a very interesting choice and someone who could gain leverage in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on this situation.
A deep-sleeper maybe this former Padres catcher. He spent time with the team in 2006-08 and was considered an intellectual player. Bard spent time as the Dodgers bullpen coach and is currently the bench coach for the New York Yankees. He works directly with Aaron Boone on a team that has won over 100 games this season despite horrible injury issues. Bard has no real managerial experience, but he could be given a shot somewhere very soon. The 41-year-old is young, but that seems to be popular in this day and age as teams are on the prowl for young managers with high upside. Bard could get an interview.
Another sleeper who could gain some momentum is the Astros’ current bench coach Joe Espada. The 44-year-old Puerto Rican has coached his country’s team in the WBC and also managed in the Puerto Rican Winter Leagues. He has spent time as a hitting coach, infield instructor, scout, and advisor. There is a lot to like about his resume, but he has not gotten a shot at the major league level to manage. The risk is there with him, but you have to admire how hard he has worked to get to where he is currently. Espada is a great communicator and will embrace analytics as he is in the Astros organization.
The Padres could find a manager inside their organization as Edin Rodriguez provides experience and a great ability to communicate. The former Friar is almost 60, and that could be a factor. He will not be the most open to analytics, and that could also be a problem. Rodriguez managed the El Paso Chihuahuas this past season and also spent time as the manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm. He is familiar with the franchise and its players.
Former Padres infielder and local San Diegan Edgar Gonzalez is emerging as a possible candidate. He managed the Mexican National Team in the WBC for the last three seasons (2009/2013/2017) and was given a managerial job within the Yankees organization this year. The 41-year-old is very young but has aspirations to be a major league manager. He is a deep sleeper, but the former Eastlake Titan provides a decent possible option for the Friars if they want to go with youth.
There is a lot to like about this idea, but Eckstein has not shown much of a craving to manage. He is currently in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization where he is a special assistant. The former infielder is gritty and tremendously well-respected among his peers. Eckstein could be a great motivator, but the 44-year-old is not experienced in running a squad. At this point, a job as a hitting coach makes more sense, but he could surface in managerial talk as well.