Baseball

Latest On Padres’ Managerial Candidates

The Padres are one of two teams with a current managerial vacancy, having fired Jayce Tingler last week. Braves third base coach Ron Washington — the runner-up to Tingler in the club’s previous managerial search — has already expressed interested and been reported to be under consideration for the position, and speculation about a few other potential candidates has begun to emerge.

In addition to Washington, Padres’ brass has done some background work on veteran managers Bruce Bochy and Buck Showalter, reports Buster Olney of ESPN (Twitter link). Bochy told Chris Russo of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM last Friday that he hadn’t been contacted by the Friars to that point, but he expressed some openness to considering the role if the club were interested. Showalter, meanwhile, has a lengthy managerial career that includes stints with the Yankees, D-Backs, Rangers and Orioles dating back to 1992. The 65-year-old last managed in 2018 with Baltimore, but he’d bring an accomplished resume — three Manager of the Year award wins and five postseason appearances — to the table.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today adds three more candidates to the mix, suggesting each of Brad Ausmus, John Gibbons and Jeff Banister could be under consideration. Ausmus, a former Padre player and front office executive, had previous stints managing the Tigers (2014-17) and Angels (2019). Gibbons spent two separate stints at the helm of the Blue Jays, leading the club to a pair of playoff appearances from 2015-16.

Banister, meanwhile, spent four years leading the Rangers — somewhat ironically succeeding Washington in that position after the latter stepped down near the end of the 2014 season. Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller has hired quite a few former colleagues from his time in Texas, but Preller had already matriculated to San Diego by the time the Rangers hired Banister. The 57-year-old Banister spent four years at the helm in Arlington, leading the team to a pair of playoff appearances in his first two seasons before they dropped below .500 over his final couple campaigns.

Olney also adds one more interesting wrinkle, suggesting the Friars may have interest in Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone. Boone has spent the last four seasons in the Bronx, but his contract is set to expire at the end of this season. It’s entirely possible the Yankees sign Boone to an extension and keep him in the fold, but there’ll be at least some uncertainty regarding his status until New York makes a formal announcement about his future with the organization.

Clearly, San Diego has taken a broad approach to the initial round of hiring, with a wide array of early candidates in the mix. Kevin Acee of the San Diego of the Union-Tribune reports that the club is hoping to pare things down a bit by the end of this week, although there’s no firm timetable set for advancing the process.

Interestingly, each of the publicly-known initial candidates has some degree of managerial experience at the major league level, a few having managed with multiple franchises. Padres’ chairman Peter Seidler indicated last week that wouldn’t be a prerequisite for the position. It’s likely there are also others under consideration who have no prior MLB managing history, but it’s nevertheless noteworthy to see the Pads at least kicking the tires on a group of well-known skippers after Preller’s first two hires (Andy Green and Tingler, respectively) were both assuming the role for the first time.

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