It took 11 days, but the Phillies finally made the move on Thursday, firing Gabe Kapler after two years as manager.
They are now the eighth team to make a managerial change this offseason, and these eight openings are not equal. What would the power rankings look like based on desirability?
This was more difficult than it may seem. There is no clear-cut No. 1 job and cases could be made for several teams.
Yes, I'm going with the Mets. Why? Because of all the teams in search of a new manager, they have the best combination of young talent and established talent.
A lineup can be built around Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto. Another couple pieces are needed but that's a solid foundation. Add in Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and the possibility of a returning Zack Wheeler and that's still one of the game's best rotations. Plus, the Mets could still package Syndergaard in a trade for upgrades elsewhere.
The knocks on the Mets job are their recent history, their ownership's lack of commitment to spending to the size of the market, and the pressure-cooker environment. But Chicago and Philadelphia are also pressure-cooker environments, and this Mets core seems closer to winning 90 games than the current cores of the Phillies and Cubs.
A case could be made to have the Phillies lower on this list. The new manager, whoever it may be, will have several hurdles. He will be tasked with winning now, and he'll know how he'll be received if he doesn't. The expectations here will probably still exceed the actual talent level of the 40-man roster because of the elite pieces (Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Aaron Nola) in place.
There's also the question about the front office, who are now one straw away from being let go themselves. If that were to happen, that manager's job will be in jeopardy again because a new front office would be hired and likely want its own man.
Yet even with those considerations, this is a decent job for a prospective manager because of ownership's commitment to winning. If you come here, you know John Middleton and the ownership group will spend to put the right pieces around Harper and the Phils' core.
Of the teams with vacancies, the Padres have the most young talent: Fernando Tatis Jr., Chris Paddack, Joey Lucchesi, Dinelson Lamet, a couple top prospects in lefty Mackenzie Gore and centerfielder Taylor Trammell. Plus, Manny Machado.
San Diego isn't a bad place to live, either. The downside of this job is the Padres' spending history and how far they still are behind the Dodgers.
Things have gotten stale on the North Side. The core that was so good from 2015-18 did not meet expectations in 2019, especially down the stretch. One of Kris Bryant or Javier Baez could be moved this offseason. The rotation is aging. The bullpen is mediocre and Craig Kimbrel didn't help.
Like in Philly, the expectations will be for the Cubs to be better than their roster currently is.
Mike Trout single-handedly makes this a better job than any of the teams lower on the list. They haven't yet won with him but will have a chance to figure out the right formula as long as he's there.
Great organization, winning history, intelligent front office ... but far away from winning with too many unproductive veterans.
No history of spending, no elite young pieces in place, worse position than the Twins, Indians and White Sox.
Things have really bottomed out in Pittsburgh. The trade of Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow to Tampa Bay for Chris Archer set the Pirates franchise back years.
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