Rumors

Phillies would have interviewed Buck Showalter if available in 2017, per report


Buck Showalter has managed four MLB teams. (Icon Sportswire)

File this one away.

Per MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki, the Philadelphia Phillies would have had interest in interviewing Buck Showalter in October of 2017, during their last managerial search. They didn’t get that opportunity because Showalter was still the Baltimore Orioles manager at that time. That said, Showalter and the Orioles parted ways after the 2018 season and the 63-year-old did not manage in 2019. So now, he is available for any team to interview.

The Phillies don’t currently have a managerial opening, though it’s the worst kept secret in baseball that they are contemplating making one after going 81-81 in 2019. In two seasons under Gabe Kapler, the Phillies are 161-163. RADIO.COM MLB Insider Jon Heyman said Monday that it’s “more likely than not” that the Phillies move on from Kapler, who is under contract for 2020. Prior to Friday’s Phillies-Miami Marlins game, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury suggested that he thought a managerial change seemed increasingly likely. After the team’s season finale Sunday, Zolecki said that “feeling throughout the organization is that a change is likely, but the Phillies might not make an announcement for a few days.”

It’s been over 48 hours since the Phillies 2019 season concluded, and there hasn’t been an announcement made on Kapler’s future. At this point it feels like either he’ll be let go, or the Phillies will extend him. After weighing his future in a fashion that the public is aware of, it’s hard to fathom Kapler returning as a lame duck in 2020, if he does ultimately return.

If a change is made, Showalter would be an interesting candidate. He’s managed the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Orioles. He has over 1,500 managerial wins. He has experience managing in different sized markets, including the biggest one of them all – New York. His time in Baltimore overlapped with the tenures of president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice.

While MacPhail publicly led the Orioles managerial search summer of 2010 that culminated in the hiring of Showalter, it was unclear whether he or owner Peter Angelos had final say on that hiring. MacPhail left the Orioles after the 2011 season, even with some suggestion that the Orioles would have been interested in retaining him. (His father Lee did pass away in November of 2012, and wasn’t in good health when MacPhail left the Orioles). Klentak moved on from his position as director of baseball operations with the Orioles after the 2011 season, when he was hired as the Los Angeles Angels assistant general manager. Rice remained in the organization as the Orioles director of administration through the 2015 season until he became one of the Phillies assistant general managers in December of 2015.

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