Add Ron Gardenhire to the list of candidates for the managerial gig with the San Diego Padres.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports Gardenhire will interview for the vacancy created when interim skipper Pat Murphy was not asked back for 2016. While the current trend is to hire managers who are often analytical extensions of the front office, GM A.J. Preller also said last week he was also looking for “a guy we feel like can be a leader."
Gardenhire guided the Minnesota Twins to six AL Central titles before he was fired last September following four straight 90-loss seasons. The 57-year-old could be a nice mix of old school and new school, even if he would not have as much leverage as he had in Minnesota.
Peter Gammons tweeted that Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield is “a hot managerial candidate” who is being interviewed by the Padres. Arizona third-base coach Andy Green, Diamondbacks Triple-A manager Phil Nevin and Los Angeles Angels assistant GM Scott Servais also have been linked to the Padres’ vacancy, Lin reports.
Here are more rumors around the majors, including a look at some other managerial vacancies:
Tim Bogar: Bogar, the Rangers bench coach, may be emerging as the front-runner for the Seattle managerial job after new general manager Jerry Dipoto decided to part ways with Lloyd McLendon on Friday. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes Bogar and Dipoto are friends and both are big on analytics. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times says the “smart money is already on Bogar,” who was a teammate of Dipoto’s with the New York Mets and hired by him as a special assistant with the Angels last year. Stone also mentions former Padres manager Bud Black and former Mariners star Raul Ibanez as possible candidates.
Randy Knorr: The Nationals’ bench coach was interested in the managerial vacancy following the firing of Matt Williams, but that option is off the table following Monday’s decision to name him senior assistant for player development. General manager Mike Rizzo did not eliminate Knorr as a candidate last week, but the Nationals have yet to grant him an interview, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post. While Knorr is believed to be liked and respected by Nationals players, Rizzo could be looking for a completely new face following a disastrous season.
Bruce Rondon: The Detroit Tigers have not given up on Rondon, the reliever who struggled with a 1.61 WHIP in 35 appearances and was shockingly sent home after throwing at what looked like less than full effort in a late-season outing. James Schmehl of MLive.com points to the glaring holes in the Detroit bullpen, giving Rondon a chance to claim the team’s setup role in spring training.
Colorado Rockies: Finding a long-term solution behind the plate will be one of the Rockies’ offseason priorities, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Nick Hundley, entering the final year of a two-year, $6.25 million deal, hit .301 overall but just .237 away from Coors Field. One option is Tom Murphy, who hit three home runs as a September call-up.