The Guardians got some bad news for their managerial search on Thursday when it was reported that their top target, Rangers associate manager Will Venable, will not be leaving Texas this offseason.
That means it's back to the drawing board for Cleveland, which needs to replace the freshly-retired Terry Francona this winter. Thankfully, the offseason has only just begun, so there's still plenty of time to hire someone else.
With that in mind, here are three managerial candidates the Guardians should target next.
3 Guardians Manager Targets
1. Buck Showalter
With Venable off the table, the first person that Cleveland should reach out to is Buck Showalter. In terms of his accomplishments and the respect he commands around the game, Showalter is one of the few who ranks up there with Tito.
Showalter is coming off two rollercoaster seasons with the New York Mets. In 2022, he led the Mets to 101 wins and won NL Manager of the Year. In 2023, however, he was dealt a bad hand. The front office gave him a roster full of old, expensive players, shipped out many of those players at the trade deadline, and then fired him after the season. Nobody could have won with that roster, especially while sharing a division with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
So now Showalter is back in the unemployment line, but he shouldn't stay there for long. He's had a ton of success during his 22 seasons as a manager, winning four Manager of the Year awards and often leading young teams to the playoffs.
Showalter may not have been a good fit for New York (few people are), and at age 67 he's probably looking for something more low-key anyways. Based on the success he had taking the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and even the Mets to the next level, he could be exactly what we need to get our young team over the hump.
New York made Showalter a scapegoat when things went south this season, but 2022 proved that he's still a good manager. He deserves another chance, and Cleveland should be the team to give it to him.