Five Candidates to Replace Terry Francona as Red Sox Manager
Here’s a look at five candidates that should be on the Red Sox short list to replace Terry Francona as manager.
First, let’s start by looking beyond the retreads. Boston is a choice manager position. The Red Sox should reach out to the top managers active today to determine their interest – and availability.
Mike Scioscia would head the list – but for this discussion, I don’t see him interested in Boston. Scioscia wields a lot of influence in the Angels organization – beyond a typical manager’s role.
Joe Maddon. Under contract with the Rays through 2012. Pros: He’s a winner that gets the most out of his team. If someone with big-league managerial experience is a plus – why not make that experience someone who is not on the market because he has been fired. Worth making a call to Tampa Bay. GM Andrew Friedman may be leaving. The Rays are always scrambling to build their roster. Maybe Maddon wants to join an organization that can develop – and keep – its players. Cons: Tampa Bay will need compensation – an inexpensive, quality young player or players. A player like Daniel Bard would be a worthy price to land Maddon – if he is Boston’s choice. Someone like Clay Buchholz would be a tougher compensation decision. And yes, getting the right manager is worth giving up player compensation.
John Farrell. He led the Blue Jays to 81 wins in his first year as a big-league manager. Pros: Knows the Red Sox (warts and all) – and how to work in the tough Boston media market. Now has big league managing experience. Has player development experience. Under contract – but it is unknown for how long since Toronto did not disclose contract length when they hired Farrell. Cons: Toronto will need compensation. Probably also in the Bard or Buchholz range.
Ready to Another Big League Assignment
Tony Pena. Current Yankees bench coach. Pros: Big league experience. Connection with Allard Baird of Red Sox front office – the Royals GM when Pena managed there. Former Red Sox player – knows the market. Knows the AL East. Cons: Kansas City is a tough market to be successful – so can’t tell if Pena’s ultimate demise was due more to his managing or the team’s talent. That’s where Baird can give Boston some insights.
Coaches Ready for Next Step
Check out Mike Scioscia Manager Tree. Maddon, Bud Black and Ron Roenicke all come from the Scioscia school of managing. That’s a good group. Current Angels bench coach Rob Picciolo has only been in the job for a year – so may not be ready for the next step. But if you extend the Scioscia tree out farther, here’s someone for the list:
Dave Martinez. Rays bench coach since the 2008 season, Martinez is Maddon’s right-hand man. Pros: Schooled under a top manager. Knows how to compete and win in the AL East. Cons: No managerial experience. Unknown in dealing with the media pressures that come with Boston.
Torey Lovullo. On Farrell’s staff in Toronto. Pros: Former Red Sox minor league manager – so known entity to Boston front office. Has reputation as a strong communicator. Knows AL East. Cons: No big league managerial experience. Unproven under a tough media spotlight. In past, teams played an aggressive offensive style – not something the Red Sox have typically deployed.
Who is on your short list for Red Sox manager candidates? Would you be willing to give up player compensation for the right manager?