After 25 years at the helm -- including the last 13 with the Giants -- Bruce Bochy’s managerial career officially is over. The legendary skipper retired with 2,003 career wins and three World Series titles. He leaves behind a Giants team that finished 77-85 in 2019 and is ushering in a new era under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
Zaidi and the rest of the Giants front office will start their search for a new manager immediately, and there’s one prominent name that just became available: Joe Maddon.
On Sunday, Maddon and the Cubs agreed to part ways after a season where the Cubs missed the playoffs for the first time since he took over as manager before the 2015 season. Maddon led the Cubs to their first World Series championship since 1908 when Chicago defeated the Indians in an epic seven-game series in 2016.
Maddon was one of the first managers to embrace the "analytics" brand of baseball and is well respected around the league. Before taking over the Cubs’ job, he led the low-payroll Rays to the playoffs four times, including the AL pennant in 2008. He owns a 1,225–1,045 career record and wants to keep going.
“I don’t want to wait,” Maddon said of his next managing job. “I’m ready.”
While Maddon’s impressive resume will surely earn consideration from Zaidi, the Giants likely are still a few years away from being true World Series contenders. Maddon might opt for another job that is a little closer to a “win-now” situation than San Francisco, who is waiting for prospects Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Marco Luciano to help create a contender two or three years down the road instead of 2020.
Furthermore, the Giants might prefer a younger manager who Zaidi can hand-pick to develop with the arc of the team. Dodgers special assistant Raul Ibañez, 47, and Angels special assistant Eric Chavez, 41, are two options that would better fit the trajectory of the team than the 65-year old Maddon.
Regardless of whether or not Maddon is the next skipper to patrol the Giants dugout, the retiring Bochy spoke glowingly about the job that the next manager will inherit -- whomever that may be.
"You got the best job in baseball. And I mean that,” Bochy told reporters after the Giants’ season-ending 9-0 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday.
“You know I talk about the owners, our front office. This city, surrounding areas. The ballpark. The fans. He's getting the best job in baseball”.