Five candidates to replace Joe Girardi as the Yankees manager

The Yankees have a huge task in front of them with the letting go of decade long manager Joe Girardi this past Thursday. The Yankees managing job is one of the hardest in sports, and with a team that is ready to win now, the Yankees have to make a very important decision in who they pick to be their next manager. With no clear front-runner for the position, the list of possibilities is a long one. Here are five of the stronger candidates to replace Joe:
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Rob Thomson and Tony Pena

Thomson, 54, has been with the Yankees since 1990 and has been a part of the major league coaching staff as a third base coach and a bench coach since 2008. Thomson has minimal minor league managing experience and no major league experience, but is widely considered a future manager by many baseball personnel. Thomson is well respected by the current Yankee players and has a reputation for being more analytical than Girardi. His relationship with the front office is said to have been stronger than Girardi’s. Working against him is the fact that Cashman may want a manager that was not a part of the team’s coaching staff last year.

Pena, 60, is the other coach on the 2017 coaching staff that has a realistic chance at possibly managing the team in 2018. Similarly, to Girardi, Pena was a longtime catcher across 18 seasons. Unlike Thomson, Pena has previous MLB managing experience. Pena managed the Royals to a 198-285 record across two full seasons and parts of two seasons. He did win manager of the year in 2003 for leading the Royals to an 83-79 record, after over a decade of losing seasons, but his teams were pitiful during the rest of his tenure. His other managing experience includes leading the Dominican Republic to the first ever undefeated WBC run in the tournament’s history in 2013. He has been a Yankees coach since 2006. Pena has the same things working against him as Thomson does, but has previous managing experience to help his case. He did interview for the position in 2007, when the Yankees ultimately hired Girardi.
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Al Pedrique

Pedrique, 57, is the current manager of the Yankees Triple-A affiliate and has been very successful with the team. He has other previous minor league coaching experience and minimal major league coaching experience. He has a career .516 winning percentage in over 1500 managed minor league games, but managed the Diamondbacks to a 22-61 record in 2004, after taking over for Bob Brenly.
Photo Credit: Butch Comegys
Pedrique has a strong reputation from his work in the Yankees’ minor league system and has a strong bond with the core of the Baby Bombers as he has managed most of them in during their minor league careers. Pedrique is more of a numbers guy than Joe, but has displayed a better ability to make personal connections with his players and earn their full respect.

Raul Ibanez and Jerry Hairston Jr.

Both Raul Ibanez and Jerry Hairston Jr. have been tossed around as recently retired players that may be in the mix for the managing job. Both players have playing experience with the team as Hairston was a part of the 2009 World Series team and Ibanez hit two of the most prolific home runs in recent Yankee postseason history against Baltimore in the 2012 ALDS. Both are considered to be excellent baseball men and would fit in the trend of young, recently retired players becoming managers along with AJ Hinch, Dave Roberts, and AJ Hinch. Hairston Jr. and Ibanez have both spent time broadcasting since their careers ended. 
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Other possibilities: Pete Mackanin, Joe Espada, Kevin Long, Jay Bell, Tim Naehrig, Trey Hillman, Brad Ausmus, Jason Giambi, John Farrell, Dusty Baker, and Alex Rodriguez.

Article by: Ryan Thoms

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