It's been over three weeks since Terry Francona managed his last game for the Cleveland Guardians, and the team is still searching for his replacement.
While the Guardians appear to be considering several candidates, one in particular has recently emerged as a possible frontrunner.
Guardians Manager Candidates: Stephen Vogt
According to MLB insider Jeff Passan, former All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt is a "serious candidate" for the job.
Vogt enjoyed a solid 10-year playing career from 2012-2022, suiting up for six different teams but spending the bulk of his career (six seasons) with the Oakland A's. Vogt made back-to-back All-Star teams in 2015 and 2016, during which he shined as one of the better-hitting catchers in the American League.
After hanging up his spikes, the former backstop stayed in the AL West by joining the Seattle Mariners' coaching staff. He served as their bullpen and quality control coach in 2023, when the Mariners won 88 games and finished just short of a playoff berth.
Despite his limited coaching experience, the 38-year-old is already interested in a managerial role. He already interviewed for the San Francisco Giants' opening, but they appear to be leaning towards the more experienced Bob Melvin based on Passan's report. That means Vogt is still available if Cleveland wants him.
While Vogt is admittedly inexperienced (especially compared to Francona), he still seems like a good fit for the role. He's exceptionally young for a manager, which could help him click with a young Guardians team. He also literally just retired in 2022 and played for several analytics-driven organizations like the A's and Tampa Bay Rays, so he understands the modern game and is forward-thinking.
Coming from Oakland, Vogt also knows what it's like to be the underdog. And as a former catcher, he has a great feel for the game and could help get the most out of the Guardians' young pitching staff.
Vogt deserves a shot to manage, and we should be the team that gives it to him.
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