The 2015 season has already been an up-and-down year for players, General Managers, and managers alike. Several teams have already lost managers during this season and quite a few more teams may be under new leadership in 2016. What follows are 12 teams, with varying levels of probability, who all have a possibility of losing their managers prior to the 2016 season. These managers will be split into three groups: almost certain to lose their jobs, less likely but still a strong possibility, and finally those managers with a small chance of losing their jobs.
Miami Marlins, Dan Jennings
More so than any other team in either the National or American League, the Marlins are almost guaranteed a new manager in 2016 given their current managerial situation. Following a slow start to the 2015 season, the Marlins fired Mike Redmond and made a questionable decision when Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria decided to hire current general manager Dan Jennings as the new Marlins manager.
Many saw this as a terrible idea and the results have only confirmed those suspicions. It’s not that Jennings isn’t a good manager because he has been decent so far in 2015, but it is clear that one person cannot simultaneously keep control of a clubhouse while at the same time making decisions on which players will be on the roster on a daily basis. Perhaps for Loria it was a worthy experiment but it has already been pretty much confirmed that Jennings will be stepping down after the season and the Marlins will hunt for another manager.
Probability of a Change: 99.99%
Philadelphia Phillies, Pete Mackanin
Along with their National League East rivals the Miami Marlins, it seems pretty obvious that after the resignation of Ryne Sandberg earlier in the year, the Phillies are definitely in need of a new manager in 2016 to replace interim manager Pete Mackanin. Mackanin has done a commendable job following a terrible first half for the Phillies, but it seems unlikely that new Phillies President will want to move forward with Mackanin as the Phillies long-term solution at manager. It seems much more likely that Mackanin will finish out the season with the Phillies before being replaced for the 2016 season. Mackanin will certainly gain some consideration to manage the Phillies in 2016, at least more than Dan Jennings, but it still remains a very, very slim chance.
Probability of Change: 99.7%
San Diego Padres, Pat Murphy
In terms of current manager situations, it seems that the Padres could be one of the most obvious teams in need of a new manager for the 2016 season. Pat Murphy has been the Padres “interim manager” since Bud Black was fired on June 15. From the start of his tenure Murphy was given the interim label and most, both within San Diego and outside of San Diego, believed the Padres would execute a proper search for a long-term manager following the end of the season. The Padres have continued to flounder under Murphy and quite a few questionable decisions by the new Padres skipper have made it fairly obvious that the Padres will have a new manager for the 2016 season. With names like Dusty Baker, Ron Gardenhire, Phil Nevin, and others seemingly available, the new Padres front office has plenty of options to find the guy that fits their mold going forward.
Probability of a Change: 95%
Detroit Tigers, Brad Ausmus
More so than any other team on this list, the Detroit Tigers have been a huge disappointment in 2015. Many expected the Tigers to once again make the playoffs in 2015 but the results have been anything but good. The Tigers were sellers at the trade deadline, trading David Price and Yoenis Cespedes among others, and were out of the playoff race months ago. This cannot all be blamed on Brad Ausmus, but he certainly can take some of the blame for several instances of questionable managerial decisions. With the resignation of Dave Dombrowski following the trade deadline, it seems likely that the Tigers may look for a change at the managerial position in order to better transition into a bit of a rebuilding period. Brad Ausmus may just be another casualty of that shift in front office philosophy.
Probability of a Change: 90%
Cincinnati Reds, Bryan Price
Throughout the season, perhaps more so than any other manager in baseball, Bryan Price has been under quite a microscope. First it was the Reds poor play early in the season. Then it was Price’s angry rant following some media questioning after a Reds loss. Then it was the drama of playing an All-Star game in a ballpark where the home team had no hopes of competing anytime soon with many star players on the trade block. Finally in recent weeks, Barry Larkin has made it pretty clear that he wants to someday be a big league manager, most likely for the team he played his entire career for. This revelation may be the final nail in the coffin that drives Price out of town in favor of the younger and more beloved Larkin.
Probability of a Change: 85%
Washington Nationals, Matt Williams
It seems necessary here to make a clarification on a point I made earlier in this article. Rather than the Tigers being the biggest disappointment of 2015, it seems more obvious that the Washington Nationals are the bigger disappointment. Prior to the season, many predicted the Nationals would at least get to the World Series with many picking them to win it all. The Nationals currently sit seven games out of the National League East lead as well as nine and a half games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second Wild Card berth. With only 23 games left on the Nationals schedule, it seems highly unlikely that they will be able to make up the deficit in either the NL East or the NL Wild Card.
While a lot of the blame falls on the injury bug that has ravaged the Nationals roster, quite a bit of blame can also be placed on Matt Williams and his stubborn managing style. He has had issues with clubhouse control and attitude and has also experienced many problems with poor on-field decisions. With Baltimore’s favorite son itching to get into managing, and no apparent coaching vacancy in Baltimore, there remains a possibility that Cal Ripken Jr. could be interested in the Nationals coaching job.
Probability of a Change: 80%
Less Likely but Still a Strong Possibility
Chicago White Sox, Robin Ventura
The White Sox had quite an offseason makeover and many expected them to compete for the AL Central crown. The results have been anything but positive for the White Sox in 2015. The offense has been up and down, the pitching staff has been erratic, and the defense has struggled on top of all of that. More so than maybe any other manager on this list, save Brad Ausmus and Matt Williams, Robin Ventura looks completely lost in the dugout on a day-to-day basis. He struggles to handle lineup construction and also struggles to manage his starting pitching staff and bullpen effectively. Beyond that the team seems to play with little fire and it seems Ventura may have already lost the clubhouse. It seems likely that the Sox will attempt to move forward with a new manager in 2016.
Probability of a Change: 75%
Seattle Mariners, Lloyd McClendon
Another team with some expectations for success in 2015 that fell flat on their face is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have already fired their general manager and it is possible that Lloyd McClendon could be soon to follow. McClendon has always been a well respected man around baseball but some of the blame for the Mariners failings this year can be put on him. With a new general manager likely being hired in the coming weeks, the new GM will likely be looking to hire his own manager to lead the team into 2016.
Probability of a Change: 60%
Atlanta Braves, Fredi Gonzalez
Considering he signed a contract extension earlier this season, it seems rather odd that Fredi Gonzalez would be included in this list. Despite this extension, recent reports, and the Braves poor record in the second half, have shown that Gonzalez may have lost the support of the clubhouse. Many Braves players are disillusioned by the Braves losing ways and following a 1-19 stretch many seem to think Gonzalez may be in jeopardy of losing his job despite the contract extension. Given the recent contract extension, and the Braves desire to keep some continuity through next season until the opening of their new ballpark in 2017, it seems to only be a 50/50 chance that Gonzalez loses his job following the season.
Probability of a Change: 50%
Boston Red Sox, John Farrell
Of all the teams on this list, this situation may be the most confusing. The Red Sox have been up and down over the last several years under John Farrell winning one world series while also having two losing seasons. After another disappointing season, and the firing of Ben Cherington and hiring of Dave Dombrowski, it seemed likely that Farrell could see his time in Boston come to an end. This was before Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma in mid-August and took a leave of absence for the remainder of the season. It is unclear whether Farrell will be healthy to coach in 2016 and, even if he is ready to coach, it is unclear if the Red Sox will be willing to bring him back for another season after yet another losing record this year.
Probability of a Change: 40%
Los Angeles Dodgers, Don Mattingly
The last two teams on this list are teams who are likely to make the playoffs in 2015 but could still see coaching changes depending on success or failure in the postseason. The first of these two teams is the Dodgers. More so than any other playoff team, there is a lot of pressure on both the Dodgers as a team and Don Mattingly individually. The Dodgers have had several disappointing early playoff exits over the last several years and it seems patience is beginning to wear thin in Los Angeles. If the Dodgers make another first or second round exit, Mattingly may take the brunt of the blame and could find himself out of a job before the 2016 season begins.
Probability of a Change: 30%
New York Yankees, Joe Girardi
The final team on the list is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are another team that is likely going to make the playoffs but has also experienced several early playoff exits over the last several years. Similar to the Dodgers, many seem disillusioned with Joe Girardi as the Yankees skipper and another playoff disappointment could be enough to run him out of town. This scenario seems slightly less likely than the possibility of Mattingly being fired given the clear support for Girardi coming from both the front office and from the clubhouse. It would seem very unlikely that Girardi would lose his job following the year but it is definitely still a distinct possibility.
Probability of a Change: 20%
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