The Cleveland Guardians face the unenviable task of replacing Terry Francona as the club's manager this offseason. With Francona officially stepping down from the role on Tuesday, Cleveland can start to ramp up its hiring efforts, which are already underway.
While it's still in the earliest of stages, some details from the search for a replacement have come out.
Zack Meisel of The Athletic has provided some initial insight as the Guardians look for a new manager. According to Meisel, Cleveland's first list of candidates was "45 or so" but has been cut down recently "to a more reasonably sized group of internal and external options."
That's not all, however. Meisel also reports highly respected first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. won't be interviewing to replace Francona. He "declined" the opportunity, but is expected to stick around under the new skipper.
"The parade of interviewees will not include Sandy Alomar Jr., the only other contender 11 years ago, when Francona landed the job. Alomar spent all 11 seasons on Francona’s staff, but he declined to interview for the position. Antonetti said the club expects him to remain part of its staff."- Zack Meisel, The Athletic
It's great to hear the front office is already making progress on replacing Tito. Narrowing down a list of potential candidates to a more realistic number will help focus the search and allow the key decision-makers to begin intense background research while they prepare interview requests.
The fact Cleveland is considering both internal and external candidates isn't a surprise, but it does add a bit of intrigue. The club could certainly choose to go with a familiar face who has some connection to the organization and hope that helps propel this franchise. After all, elevating someone who's been under Francona is one way to better guarantee a smooth transition.
However, the Guardians may also go with an outside option. Someone who could challenge the norms and push this team to operate differently than it has over the past 11 seasons has the potential to help this club reach new heights. A major change also has the chance to backfire, but Cleveland should consider all routes at the very least considering the possible payoff.
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