Cleveland Guardians: 4 burning questions entering the offseason

Emmanuel Clase #48 of the Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Clase #48 of the Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Guardians, Terry Francona
Manager Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Will Terry Francona return to manage the Cleveland Guardians in 2022?

The rumors around Terry Francona returning to the bench have been quiet of late. Since the front office committed to Francona if he’s healthy, there really hasn’t been much talk. With the wonderful game of manger musical chairs that happens every offseason, Francona is now the longest tenured coach with one team in the game, but that doesn’t exactly mean he’s locked in for 2022.

The fact of the matter is that Francona has missed large chunks of the last two seasons for health concerns. He stepped away at the trade deadline this past season and missed more than half of the shortened 2020 campaign. If healthy, he’s still a strong manager. However, that’s a big “if” right now.

Nothing is set in stone yet that Francona will return in 2022 and even if he does, for how long will he be back? DeMarlo Hale and Sandy Alomar Jr. have filled the interim role well in Francona’s absence, but a guessing game at manager isn’t a sustainable option. There needs to be a bit more clarity and with the questions being rooted in Francona’s health, we most likely won’t get definitive answers. Hopefully, he can make it through 2022 and this stops being a consistent question around the team.