- After missing the playoffs four-straight seasons, the Pirates fired Clint Hurdle
- General Manager Neal Huntington will stay on and select the next bench boss
- Who will the Pirates’ next manager be?
After nine years, Clint Hurdle is out as the Pittsburgh Pirates manager.
Hurdle led the Pirates to three Wild Card games in his tenure, winning one (2013). But missing the playoffs the last four years and going 304-341 over that stretch just wasn’t good enough. This season was the final straw, as the clubhouse seemed to implode and the Pirates’ World Series odds faded early.
With Hurdle on the outs, the search for a new manager will start. Here are the early favorites to take over the Buccos.
Odds on Pittsburgh Pirates Next Manager
|Candidate||Year Last Managed (MLB)||Career Record (MLB)||Odds|
*Odds taken 09/30/2019
There are a couple of interesting things about this list.
The first is that there isn’t a lot of experience. Outside of Geren, Maddon and Girardi, no one else has managed in the majors. And Geren doesn’t have the track record of the other two.
Hearing Carlos Beltran and Raul Ibanez are the hot managerial names right now and I feel old.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) September 23, 2019
The second: a grand total of one of those names ended up in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article speculating on the next bench boss. It was Geren’s.
Regardless, there are a couple of up-and-coming names that could be eyeing the Pirates’ job.
Beltran, Ibanez Lead the Way in Pirates Manager Search
Ibanez has been a popular name for a couple of years in managerial searches.
Most recently, he turned down interviews in 2018 while he was a special assistant with the Dodgers. That was the second straight off-season he elected to turn down interviews. He declined the Yankees in 2017.
The #Yankees reached out to Raul Ibanez to discuss their manager opening shortly after Girardi's dismissal. Ibanez ultimately decided he wasn't ready for such a commitment.
— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) November 13, 2017
If Ibanez decides he’s ready to finally make the jump, he’ll have no shortage of suitors. The Padres, Giants, Royals, and Cubs will all gauge his interest.
Carlos Beltran is in the same boat. After taking a year to enjoy retirement, Beltran spent 2019 as a special assistant with the Yankees. When asked about becoming a manager, he seemed…non-committal.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. If I get the call, I will have to talk to (my wife) first and then see what happens. – Carlos Beltran, NJ.com
Both Ibanez and Beltran spent time during their playing careers in cities looking for new managers. While that won’t be the deciding factor, it definitely could come into play.
Geren, Maddon, Girardi All Offer Experience
Of the three, Maddon will be the hot name on the market. And he’ll be picky.
Per Bob Nightengale:
I look at it, it’s got to be a good fit. Philosophically, you’ve got to be on the same page. You’ve got to like the people you’re going to work with. I’m wide open. – Joe Maddon
A three-time manager of the year, Maddon can wait out the market. And name his price. There are teams that haven’t axed their managers yet that will likely reach out and check his interest before moving forward.
Then there’s Joe Girardi. He’s in the same boat, with the right to be picky.
The Rangers turned him down last year, and he pulled out of contention for the Reds job.
If I’m the Mets I try to find a way to sign Joe Girardi before the Cubs do.
— Robert Brender (@robertbrender) September 22, 2019
Both will be too expensive for the Pirates, likely leaving Geren among the experienced candidates.
Who Will Manage the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020?
There are three names on the list that make a whole lot of sense: Espada, Chavez, and Bard.
Espada is an up-and-comer while Bard has two years as a bench coach under his belt. Chavez spent time managing in Triple-A last year.
Call up! Bees Manager Keith Johnson will be joining the @Angels Major League coaching staff. Effective today, Angels Special Assistant Eric Chavez will assume managerial responsibilities for the Bees through the conclusion of the 2018 season. pic.twitter.com/9ECtBnJGCE
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) August 5, 2018
Espada seems to be one of the hottest new names on the coaching market. He struck out last year, but if the Phillies and Mets jobs open up? There will be a team looking to spend that could land him.
Ultimately, it will come down to Chavez and Bard. And the experience Bard already has in the big leagues is invaluable.
The Pick: Josh Bard (+1000)
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