As Joe Girardi leaves the New York Yankees after 10 years, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the candidates for the team’s manager job.
The leading candidate to replace Girardi is Rob Thompson, the team’s bench coach. He’s been with the team since 1998 in different roles, and is regarded as someone with an analytical approach (something the Yankees see as a must in their new manager) and is reported to have a strong relationship with the team’s young players. During his time his a third base coach, he was constantly criticized for sending runners home too often, leading to high out ratios in that situation.
Another in-house candidate might be Josh Paul, the team’s catching coordinator and has served in different roles for the organization over the last few years. He was a little-used major league catcher, playing from 1999 to 2007.
Jay Bell is the next in-house candidate, and probably stronger than Paul. He coached the Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees this season, named to the Florida State League manager of the year. A major league shortstop, he has coached for the Reds and Pirates in the past, and at the moment is slated to coach the Scottsdale Scorpions in the fall league.
An interesting outside name may be Raul Ibanez. The New York native who was an All-Star in 2009 and his career spanned three different decades, including one season with the Yankees, was considered for the Phillies job before they filled it recently. He worked for both Fox and ESPN, and does have that reputation of being one of the nicest people in Baseball, although that might not be what the Yankees are looking for.
Pete Mackanin has been mentioned as well. He was a pro scout for the Yankees in 2014 and a manager with three different teams, most recently in Philadelphia, posting a 174-238 record. He has been working in the Phillies front office, but the Yankees might be interested to see what he has to give them from the dugout while he has a roster trending up instead of down.
Another former Yankee coach is Kevin Long, the team’s hitting coach from 2007 to 2014 before getting fired and picked up by the Mets. He has been invovled in managerial discussions with the Yankees city rivals, and maybe this time around he’ll be taken more seriously.
Other names being thrown around Reggie Willits and Al Pedrique, both joining the Yankees recently. What seem to be the criteria for the team’s next manager is a good grasp of the clubhouse atmosphere (hence the in-house preferences), someone who is linked to advanced stats and hopefully, the ability to handle the pressure of working in New York City.
Girardi coached the Yankees through 10 seasons, winning 56.2% of his regular season games. He led the team to the World Series in 2009, which the Yankees won. Since then, they’ve made the playoffs five times, three of them losing in the ALCS, including game 7 recently.