Apr 3, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks hitting coach Turner Ward against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Today the Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced eight confirmed candidates for the team’s open manager job.
Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa fired Kirk Gibson last Friday before the team’s final series of the season against the Cardinals.
It was the same day that La Russa formally introduced new G.M. Dave Stewart, and vice-president of baseball operations to the media.
Three internal candidates hitting coach Turner Ward, Reno Aces manager Phil Nevin, and Mobile Bay Bears manager Andy Green. Those interviews won’t take as much time.
The other candidates that were part of the initial list include current Reds bench coach and former Diamondbacks great Jay Bell, Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr, former Rockies manager Jim Tracy, Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu, and White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing.
Wakamatsu and Tracy both have managerial experience. Wakamatsu managed parts of two seasons with the Mariners. Tracy managed the Rockies from 2009-2012. Before that he managed the Dodgers from 2001-2005, and the Pirates from 2006-2007.
Bell a Diamondbacks legend, worked with the team after his playing days were over. He was the teams bench coach from 2005-2006 under manager Bob Melvin, and he served as a special advisor from 2007-2009.
Alomar Jr is no stranger to being considered for managerial openings. He was a finalist for the Blue Jays job following the 2010 season, and he interviewed for the Cubs and Red Sox vacancies following the 2011 campaign. When Manny Acta was fired in Cleveland with six games remaining, Alomar was names the interim manager. He and Francona were the only two considered for the manager’s job.
When you talk to rival executives around baseball, McEwing is seen as the favorite given his history with La Russa. He played parts of two seasons with the Cardinals when La Russa was the manager. McEwing will also be considered for the Twins job.
Nevin, Ward, and Green will all be seriously considered because they are all respected by the players and the organization and they are part of the Dbacks family.
The Diamondbacks will likely announce more candidates when rival clubs give the Dbacks permission to interview them.