At 67 years old and with 22 seasons of managing under his belt, Buck Showalter said that he felt “great physically,” when asked on Sunday if he wanted to continue his work as a veteran skipper at the major league level.
Showalter was fired by the Mets that very same day with the manager himself announcing the news during his pregame press conference ahead of his team’s disappointing regular-season finale.
After winning 101 games in 2022, a flawed roster this season ultimately disintegrated, leading to the end of his short term as Mets manager while extending his long wait for a World Series ring.
The allure of winning a title should be more than enough motivation for Showalter to get back in a big-league clubhouse, but what openings are out there that could potentially help get him his ring? We rank the three current openings — though there could be more on the way as the offseason progresses.
Ranking potential landing spots for Buck Showalter
1) Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona resigned after 11 years in Cleveland, which certainly insinuates that stability is attainable for Showalter. On top of that, being in one of the weakest divisions in baseball, the American League Central should see the Guardians as a contender for the playoffs every year. They won the division last year but finished 11 games behind the Twins in 2023. Their roster is good enough to compete in 2024. Tristan McKenzie is re-joining the rotation after missing most of this season due to injury and Jose Ramirez anchors the lineup as one of the best natural hitters in the American League.
2) San Francisco Giants: It’s hard to believe that this Giants team won 107 games just two years ago. After taking two steps back with an underwhelming roster, Gabe Kapler was shown the door in San Francisco, providing an opening that will require some patience. The Dodgers own the National League West and the Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be up-and-coming with a playoff berth this season. But the Giants are a bit of a wild card. They have two top-30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline in pitcher Kyle Harrison and shortstop Marco Luciano. They’ve also been major players in the free-agent market, almost coming away with Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa last winter but ultimately losing out. Could they be in on Shohei Ohtani this winter?
3) Los Angeles Angels: By far the worst current job opening available, the Angels remain a mess under owner Arte Moreno. They’ve been unable to make the playoffs in a decade with two generational talents on their roster in Ohtani and Mike Trout. Ohtani is likely headed out of town as he hits free agency with the prospect of getting the richest contract in MLB history and Trout has averaged just 79 games per year since 2021.