3 Familiar Faces That Can Replace Terry Francona as Guardians Manager

Three people with previous ties to the Cleveland Guardians who could replace Terry Francona as manager.
Three people with previous ties to the Cleveland Guardians who could replace Terry Francona as manager. / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Terry Francona just wrapped up his final homestand as Cleveland Guardians manager, and the team certainly gave him a fitting send-off at Progressive Field with a 4-3 win. Tito was showered with chants and appreciation from the fans, who will miss the skipper dearly after a successful 11-year run at the helm.

With Francona prepared to hang 'em up, Cleveland must now turn its attention toward his replacement. The club will have no shortage of options to pursue this winter, but it'd be no surprise if they hire someone who has ties to the organization.

With that in mind, here are three familiar faces that could be Francona's successor for the 2024 season.

Terry Francona Replacements

1. Sandy Alomar Jr.

Let's start with an obvious candidate: first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr.

After an incredible 20-year MLB career as a player, the bulk of which was spent in Cleveland, the ex-catcher joined the coaching ranks in 2008. Two seasons later, he ended up back with the Guardians organization after being hired by former manager Manny Acta as first base coach.

Despite overtures from other clubs, Alomar has stayed in Cleveland ever since. He's been part of two different staffs, first Acta's and then Francona's, which speaks to his coaching talent. Alomar has also gotten some run as interim manager with the Guardians, first when Acta was canned just before the end of the 2012 campaign and then again when Francona took time away during the 2020 season.

Alomar's showing when Francona was out gave a glimpse at what he could at the helm. The club finished the year 28-18 under the former MLB catcher, clinching a Wild Card spot and ending up just 1.0 games back of the top record in the AL Central. Obviously Alomar would've hoped for a better postseason result than being swept by the New York Yankees, but the fact that he filled in so well on short notice is admirable.

Alomar's strong understanding of the game that made him one of the best catchers of his era has clearly translated over to the coaching side. He's been a finalist for a few managerial jobs in the past, but this opportunity could finally be the right one.

In Alomar, Cleveland would get a former player-turned-coach who knows what it takes to perform at a high level. His familiarity with not just the current major league roster, but the entire Guardians organization due to both his playing and coaching stints, makes him an ideal person to carry the torch from Francona.