With the Cleveland Guardians' search for a new manager still very much an ongoing thing, with names like Craig Counsell, Stephen Vogt, Troy Snitker, and plenty of others being bandied about, it's worth taking a quick look back at our beloved Terry Francona.
As Cleveland leaves no stone unturned in the managerial search, it makes sense to note that Francona was, in fact, baseball's highest-paid manager in 2023, making $4.5 million.
Does Terry Francona's Contract Make Any Difference in Cleveland's Managerial Search?
It's common knowledge that the Guardians consistently maintain one of the lowest payrolls in the game; in 2023, Cleveland ranked 25th with an $89 million payroll. But the Guardians are a first-class organization, run by front-office personnel most other organizations would kill to have. And that front office rightly recognizes the importance of having the right manager at the helm, especially when it comes to the unique challenges of managing a younger - often underpaid - team.
This doesn't necessarily mean the team's next manager will be making this much, especially if the Guardians opt to bring in a younger first-time manager. But Cleveland is seriously considering Counsell, who becomes a free agent himself November 1. The Mets are reportedly in play for Counsell's services as well, but it's clear Cleveland is willing to roll out the red carpet for the right managerial candidate - especially one who has seen success like Counsell.
In addition to being so fairly compensated, Francona also maintained a strong, collaborative relationship with the front office, which helped turn the Guardians into one of the most successful teams of the past decade. It was a unique arrangement Francona and the Guardians had, and Cleveland is no doubt looking for someone who could either fill that role in a similar way, or potentially evolve with the organization to that point.
The Guardians might not roll out a $200 million payroll, but Cleveland knows how to keep a world-class manager happy with the organization.