2. John Farrell
If it won't be Francona on the bench, how about another one of his disciples?
John Farrell made 90 appearances over five seasons with Cleveland as a starting pitcher. The 1988 (14 wins) and '89 (personal-best 3.91 ERA) campaigns were the highlight of his tenure, yet a pair of elbow surgeries prevented him from possibly reaching greater heights. He was forced to miss the 1990 and 1991 seasons, but was clearly not the same when he returned in 1992 and played his last MLB game in 1996.
However, Farrell found new life as a coach. He spent a couple of years with his alma mater, Oklahoma State, before rejoining the Guardians organization as the director of player development at the end of 2001. He helped revitalize the team's farm system, which was ranked No. 1 by Baseball America in 2003.
Farrell's work in Cleveland helped him snag the role of pitching coach with the Boston Red Sox under his old teammate, Tito. Boston won the World Series in Farrell's first season on the job, and he continued to play an important role in multiple title runs before spending two seasons as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
After Francona's exit and Bobby Valentine's one-season disaster, Boston turned to Farrell to lead the team -- this time as manager -- and the results were a resounding success. The Red Sox won it all in Farrell's first year at the helm in 2013, returning the club to the heights of the early 2000s again. Farrell went on to make two other postseason trips and finished his managerial tenure with a record of 432-378.
Farrell's success in both front-office and field-level roles shows his obvious eye for talent. He helped get the most out of a Boston club that finished in last place the year before his arrival, turning things around overnight.
As the Guardians straddle the line of sneaky postseason contender and embracing a rebuild, Farrell could be the guy to lead either mission. He has the baseball smarts and recent success to help guide this organization after Francona's exit, especially since he's already done that once before.