The 2018 Yankees will be managed by someone, but the process of figuring out who is still underway. They are at a bit of a disadvantage at this point in the year, as most clubs have already gone through the process of hiring new managers. Many of the good external options are out of the conversation.
It appears, however, that Brian Cashman prefers to hire someone with whom he already has a working relationship. While this doesn’t eliminate any outside candidates, it does work favorably for people in the organization. This is especially true with those who have worked with these players and helped them develop. With that said, let’s run through the gambit of options:
Thomson’s case is that he emerged as Joe’s second-in-command in recent years. He’s served on Girardi’s staff since he was brought on as manager, and regained the role of bench coach from Tony Pena back in 2015.
Likelihood of Making the Short List: High. Thomson’s name is on every reporter’s tongue and for good reason. The Yankees view him as a Girardi-quality analytics guy, but with a more relaxed personality.
Pedrique has been in contact with almost all of the Yankees’ core players back in their minor league days, which gives him considerable sway in interviewing for this position. He entered the organization back in 2014 with High-A Tampa, and then was promoted in 2016 to the Triple-A level. He last saw managing action in the majors with the Astros as their bench coach from 2010-2013.
Likelihood of Making the Short List: High. Pedrique has the connections and the success with these players to warrant a look at the majors. He may not ultimately win out, but it would be foolish not to consider him.
Pena is another longtime member of the Yankees organization; he’s been here since 2006 and held the bench coach position for a majority of Girardi’s tenure. He interviewed for the manager position in 2007 after Torre left, and interviewed for the Red Sox managerial opening after the disastrous Bobby Valentine experiment.
Likelihood of Making the Short List: Average. Pena has a good reputation in the organization, but he was surpassed in position by Thomson in recent years. Plus he didn’t win the job back in 2007. There’s a good chance he could stay in his current role once the new regime settles in, but he likely won’t get tapped for the manager’s spot.
Long is an external candidate, but he had a lengthy stay with the organization as Girardi’s hitting coach. He is credited with fixing the swings and stances of high-profile Yankee players like Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson. He recently interviewed for the Nationals manager position, and was a candidate for the Mets job before Mickey Callaway was hired.
Likelihood of Making the Short List: Low. Long could be out before the Yankees’ search gets too deep if he gets the Nationals job. Plus, he was fired from his previous position with the Yankees.
Ibanez enjoyed a productive MLB career, but his tie to the Yankees goes back to 2012. That’s when he became a postseason hero against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS. Following his retirement in 2014, Ibanez has remained active in baseball as an analyst, and interviewed for the Rays managerial position after Joe Maddon left.
Likelihood of Making the Short List: Low. Ibanez is seen by some as a hot managing commodity, but with no experience and no connections to most of this current Yankees roster, he would need a great interview to close the gap.
There are obviously many more names being floated around, some with a legitimate shot while others are mostly pipe dreams. Who do you think is the frontrunner to be the next Yankees manager? Let us know in the comments below.