It appears that the search for the Cleveland Guardians next manager is coming close to reaching a conclusion. That is at least according to Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes.
Hoynes stated that if the Guardians do not end up with Craig Counsell, it would be down to either Carlos Mendoza or Stephen Vogt. Counsell is obviously the big get of the three and is the most desirable candidate. The problem is that other teams are vying for his services.
Counsell has also interviewed with the New York Mets, a team that has someone he is quite familiar with as their new President of Baseball Operations, David Stearns. That connection cannot be discounted as the two were together in Milwaukee since 2023, with 2022 being the final year Stearns was the Brewer's President of Baseball Operations.
The Houston Astros are also interested in Counsell to take over the recently retired Dusty Baker. Taking into consideration all the teams looking to make Counsell their new manager and where they stand in terms of competiveness and willingness to spend, there is a very chance that the Guardians finish as an also-ran in this sweepstakes.
Should things go as expected, Counsell landing elsewhere, leaving the Guardians with Vogt and Mendoza as their options.
Vogt retired following the 2022 season but played a position that is coveted among potential managerial candidates, catcher. The amount of details that a major league backstop is required to pay attention to during a game, in addition to most of the game action in front of them, makes a former catcher an ideal candidate to be a major league manager.
Mendoza has been with the New York Yankees organization for the past 15 years, with the last four years being as a bench coach under Aaron Boone. There is a connection between Mendoza and Cleveland Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez. Gimenez played for Mendoza in Venezuela as he prepared for the World Baseball Classic. This is a minor connection, but it is still noteworthy.
The Guardians expected to make their hire around the timeframe of the World Series. Now that the Fall Classic is in the books, they are moving further and further away from their expected date of hire.