Yankees bench coach could succeed Tito as Guardians' manager

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Add another name to the list of possible successors to Terry Francona in Cleveland. The New York Post's Joel Sherman has reported that the Guardians have reached out to New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza. Mendoza joins San Francisco Giants coach Carlos Albernaz as a known managerial candidates for the position

Mendoza has been in various roles with the Yankees organization since 2009, being promoted to infield coach after 2017 and then being named a bench coach after the 2019 season. This will not be Mendoza's first go around with the interview process, having interviewed for positions with the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers following the abbreviated 2020 season and most recently, the Chicago White Sox after last year.

This is not the first managerial search news of the week. Peter Gammons suggested that former Cleveland coach and current Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash could be an option for the Guardians. It would be a little tricky to have Cash return to Cleveland immediately, as he is under contract with the Rays until the conclusion of the 2025 season. While this does not make it impossible for him to succeed Francona as soon as next year, the path to doing so is a bit more difficult than some of the other available options. 

The Guardians are in a tough position right now when it comes to finding their next manager. It is never easy to find a good managerial fit, but that becomes even more difficult when this person is expected to live up to and even exceed what Francona was able to accomplish during his long tenure with the organization. Additionally, this is a team that is expected to bounce back next season and return to being in contention, not just for the American League Central but as a team that can make a run in the postseason.