The Cleveland Guardians' process for finding a new manager will likely be an exhaustive one, and you can now add Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough to the list of those who have interviewed to replace Terry Francona.
According to a source, the team came away impressed with McCullough, who already has a Cleveland connection. The Indians drafted McCullough in the 22nd round of the 2002 draft, who spent four seasons in the system before moving on to managing within the Blue Jays organization in 2007.
McCullough spent seven seasons managing in the minors, compiling a 402-367 record before being hired as the Dodgers' minor league field coordinator. He moved his way up the organization, making his way to the big-league staff in 2021 and has been the team's first base coach the past two seasons.
As far as outside candidates go, the Guardians have also interviewed Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza and Giants bullpen and catching coach Craig Albernaz. The team is predictably tight-lipped about the process, but it looks the Guardians will certainly be doing their due diligence before finding their next manager, searching far and wide both within and outside the organization. Internally, minor league coordinator John McDonald, hitting coach Chris Valaika, and director of player development Rob Cerfolio have all been floated out there as potential options.
There is also, of course, the possibility of the team particularly liking Troy Snitker, current hitting coach of the Houston Astros, but that will have to wait until Houston's postseason run ends, and there is reportedly plenty of interest in Snitker from other organizations.
As for McCullough, he has been a managerial candidate in the past, interviewing with the Mets and Royals. It seems like it's only a matter of time before he finally lands with a team.
Will it be the Guardians?