Full Breakdown of the MLB Manager Hot Seat as the 2013 Season Ends
As the 2013 MLB season comes to a close, the annual manager "hot seat" discussion has begun.
It has been a quiet year for managerial fires in baseball, as Paul Hagen of MLB.com noted back in August. The only manger to be given the boot was longtime Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in team history, who was replaced by Ryne Sandberg on August 16 (and named full-time manager earlier this week).
Last season featured two midseason replacements, while two years prior, in 2010, 12 teams made 14 managerial changes, six of them during the season. The most recent year in which no managers were relieved of duty during the season was 2006.
Hagen reveals that since 2000, about seven teams make manager moves each year on average and approximately 3.7 of those moves occur during the season.
But enough with numbers, how about those intriguing hot seat details?
We already know the Nationals' Davey Johnson will be moving into a special advisor role with the team next year leaving a managerial vacancy in Washington.
Who else is treading water?
All statistics as of September 26, 2013
Chance of returning in 2014: 99%
The New York Yankees will miss the postseason for the first time since Joe Girardi's inaugural year as manager in 2008. At 83-75 the Yankees are six games back in the AL Wild Card race with four games to play.
Considering the incredible amount of injuries over the course of the season and the media attention since the return of Alex Rodriguez, Girardi has actually done a wonderful job in 2013.
Had it not been for the resurgent Red Sox under first-year manager John Farrell and the surprising Cleveland Indians and Cleveland-newcomer Terry Francona, Girardi may have made a run at AL Manager of the Year. However, due to the expectation of excellence in the pinstripe jerseys, hot seat questions still surround Girardi.
This season will result in the worst Yankees record during his tenure, but Girardi will be back next year with healthy stars in Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira and the leadership of Derek Jeter.
Chance of returning in 2014: 90%
In an AL East division in which four of the five teams have battled towards a playoff spot until the bitter end, the Toronto Blue Jays have been excluded.
High hopes have turned to dismal defeat for the Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons. After a high-profile offseason and the arrival of Gibbons, the Jays have bought themselves nothing more than a losing season.
Gibbons has received the "ride or die" stamp from GM Alex Anthopoulos, who gave the manager his vote of confidence, but with the team north of the border continually losing games the past two seasons, Anthopoulos is feeling the pressure as well.
The 2013 season wasn't all Gibbons' fault, either. Pitching woes doomed the team all season and an underachieving offense could not compensate.
Give Gibbons another year.
Chance of returning in 2014: 75%
The Kansas City Royals were truly competing for a playoff spot for the first time since the late 1980s, which is something half a dozen managers have not been able to do with this team.
That in and of itself is a compliment to Ned Yost.
Sure, the offseason additions of James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana to the pitching rotation helps, but a team does not mold chemistry and win ball games without a respected leader to make key decisions regarding the team.
An up-and-down August and a competitive AL wild card race has eliminated the K.C. boys from the playoffs, sitting five games back with four to play.
Unless the perfect managerial candidate comes along (i.e. George Brett), Yost should return next season.
Chance of returning in 2014: 80%
Ron Gardenhire's loyalty to the Minnesota Twins and Twins GM Terry Ryan's loyalty to Gardenhire is all working in favor for the longtime Twins manager to return next season.
With that said, the Twins have not been performing up to the standard of Gardenhire's first nine years in Minnesota, when the team finished first in the division during six of those seasons (but only made it to the ALCS once). The 2013 Twins have already clinched their third consecutive 90-plus loss seasons.
The team is in transition mode with $23 million man Joe Mauer being the most recognizable face in Minnesota. And as many young players begin to make the move up to the majors, Ryan may choose to keep Gardenhire around to develop them into stars.
The subjectively wishful Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune describes an enticing offer from the Cubs being the only plausible reason Gardenhire will not sign a new contract in Minnesota.
Chance of returning in 2014: 51%
Ah, the quizzical case of Robin Ventura in Chicago.
Some say he's not interested in managing. Others believe he's under qualified.
According to Ventura, who was quoted in the Chicago Tribune, his desire to manage the White Sox is not a question:
If they want me to do this, I would like to do it. Both sides have to be in agreement for that to happen, but the way I got the job it's fair that at the end of three you can look at it again and see if they still think I'm the right guy to do it.
It's not the boldest statement ever made, but at least Ventura has verbalized that he would like to continue managing past 2014.
Since his White Sox overachieving season in 2012 when they won 85 games, Ventura turned down a contract extension offer through 2015 and has led the team into the ground and a chance at 100 losses this season.
Ventura is a question mark across the board, but I give him a better chance to return than be fired/resign before 2014.
Chance of returning in 2014: 40%
A 40 percent chance to return to the Texas in 2014 is generous for Ron Washington. If the Rangers miss the playoffs, reset that percentage to zero.
Washington has taken a fair amount of criticism, largely directed at his in-game decision making, over the past few seasons. Ever since his Rangers lost back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011, a playoff appearance has been as evasive as a Josh Hamilton jersey in Arlington.
A collapse in 2012 in which the Rangers blew a 13-game division lead to the Oakland Athletics and were forced to play and lose in the one-game wild card playoff against the Baltimore Orioles put Washington on the hot seat to begin the 2013 campaign.
Now, amidst another self-destructive playoff run that includes blowing a seven-game wild card lead and losing 15 of 23 games in September, the Rangers must make the postseason or fans will call for Washington's immediate firing.
It won't be pretty but if Texas can limp into the playoffs, it just may save Washington's job.
Chance of returning in 2014: 50%
Mike Scioscia is poised to record just his fourth losing season in Los Angeles in 14 seasons. The Angels haven't been great in the second half (33-31), but they've been good enough to avoid a complete disaster in 2013.
Scioscia is under contract with the Angels through 2018 with the chance to opt out after the 2015 season. However his very public tension with GM Jerry Dipoto, who is only under contract through next season, puts the team, and owner Arte Moreno, in a very interesting situation.
As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes, Dipoto's job is likely in more jeopardy due to his short-term contract and lackluster signings of pitchers such as Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton. Scioscia, though, has managed in Los Angeles for quite some time, and with the changing landscape of the team, a new manager may be in order.
Chances are either Dipoto, Scioscia or both will be gone at the end of the season.
Chance of returning in 2014: 20%
What is there to say about Eric Wedge that hasn't all ready been said?
A manager who had mild success in Cleveland from 2003 to 2010, winning the AL Manager of the Year award in 2007, Wedge has compiled a .434 winning percentage in three dreadful seasons in Seattle.
Next, after suffering a mild stroke at the age of 45 before the Mariners' July 22 game, Wedge returned a month later in August to finish out the season—and his contract.
According to Ryan Divish of the News Tribune, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has been extended through the 2014 season.
Offering a quiet contract extension to the general manager of a struggling club without mention of the manager does not bode well for Wedge.
Chance of returning in 2014: 95%
After his team-optioned third year at the helm of the New York Mets, Terry Collins will record his third sub-.500 season as manager.
However, with the talent at hand and countless injuries, Collins has received the unwavering support of GM Sandy Alderson, who is traveling with the team on its final road trip.
According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, those around the Mets have privately acknowledged that Collins will likely be offered a short-term extension—but not until the end of the regular season.
There is little that Collins has done wrong in 2013, but the next contract offer won't be more than one, maybe two, years with a team option.
Chance of returning in 2014: 85%
It's a good thing Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke extended his managerial contract early on in the 2012 season because the Brewers have quickly regressed since in 2011.
That year (Roenicke's first), the Brew Crew finished 30 games over .500 at 96-66, resulting in the team's first first-place finish since 1982 when it was a member of the AL East and lost the World Series in seven games.
The 2012 season under Roenicke saw the Brewers record an 83-79 win-loss total and the 2013 campaign will finish as a losing season, as Milwaukee currently sits 16 games under .500.
Roenicke is under contract through next season with a club option for 2015. Most of the negatives that handcuffed the Brewers all season (i.e. Braun's PED suspension and Hart's hampering knee injury) were not the fault of Roenicke, and he's done a fine job managing emerging stars in Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura.
Roenicke will live out his contract, but depending on the success of the Brewers in 2014, the club option may seem less attractive come next October.
Chance of returning in 2014: 49%
When Dale Sveum was hired as the Chicago Cubs manager for the 2012 season, he was given the task of ending the longest World Series drought in baseball—a difficult challenge with a young, under-developed team.
In nearly two full seasons as manager, Sveum has lost 194 games with the Cubs, a far cry from where the club would like to be. He doesn't have much previous experience either, managing just 12 games for the Brewers as interim manager at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
His status for 2014 is up in the air and in the hands of a front office led by former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who finds the most pride in his team's success.
It was unfortunate to watch a Cubs team with so much young potential falter so tremendously. And frankly, not much can be said for Sveum's development of Anthony Rizzo (.232/.323/.415), Darwin Barney (.211/.270/.308) and Starlin Castro (.243/.283/.344).
There are more prospects coming up for the Cubs and Epstein must decide if Sveum is the man for the job.