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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3. Mark DeRosa

One dark horse option to consider for the manager opening is Mark DeRosa.

His tenure in Cleveland was brief, as he spent only half a season with the team before being dealt at the 2009 trade deadline to the St. Lous Cardinals. However, he played 16 years of MLB ball and played as recently as 2013, so his experience in the majors shouldn't be discounted.

What DeRosa may lack in familiarity with the Guardians he makes up for with his youth. At only 48 years old, he's considerably younger than both Alomar (57) and Farrell (61).

Teams across MLB have won with managers both young and old, so age isn't a defining part of a coaching search. But it can certainly play a factor, and perhaps the Guardians would like to go in a younger direction, especially if they see the candidate being someone who could have a Francona-like tenure in terms of length.

While DeRosa doesn't have MLB managerial experience, he's coming off of a run coaching on the big stage at the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The former MLB veteran was tasked with leading Team USA despite his inexperience and clearly impressed. The Americans went 3-1 in group play and eventually made the championship game, where they fell in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Japan.

DeRosa definitely turned heads with his performance as USA's skipper, and that kind of showing is the type that could get him serious looks for manager openings this winter. His lack of experience could actually work in his favor as clubs seek someone who can grow with their roster instead of an old head whose established ways clash with modern players.

Given DeRosa's playing career ended not too long ago, he'd be able to relate to players of today's game better than most. His ability to go from a seventh-round pick to more than a decade in the majors should certainly command plenty of respect in the clubhouse as well.

Hiring any first-time manager comes with plenty of risk, but perhaps it's the kind of zag Cleveland needs to stay ahead of the curve.

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