Breaking down the Yankees' managerial candidates: Eric Wedge

As we approach the holiday season and get deeper into the MLB offseason, the Yankees still have not named a manager. Their search rolls on, with names of candidates continuing to trickle out in the news. One name that surfaced last week was former Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge.

Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP

Wedge is a former catcher who played in parts of four seasons with the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. In his 10 years of experience as a major league manager, he spent seven with the Indians and three with the Mariners to mixed results. Although he is only 49 years old, Wedge already has a decade of experience as a manager and is generally well liked around the league. 

Wedge has an all-time record of 774-846. He guided his teams to one first place finish out of 10 seasons and has six postseason wins for his career. The stats don’t really jump off the page in any meaningful way, so it must be something else that brought Wedge to the Yankees’ attention. Based on his comments to the media, what the Yankees like in Wedge may be his approach and how it would differ from that of Joe Girardi.

Girardi’s serious personality was clearly more an issue than we may have thought during his time. Girardi was a serious guy by nature and Brian Cashman made it clear that a key factor in his departure was how he failed to connect well enough with the team’s young players. An incident that seems to loom large now was Girardi publicly calling out and benching Gary Sanchez for his defense in August. Wedge sounds like he would employ a gentler approach based on forming closer relationships with the players.

I believe you can have a personal relationship with your players as well as a professional relationship, It takes a little bit more time. It takes a little bit more effort. But I think that it's something that's imperative, something I've always done, something I'll continue to do. And as long as they understand where you're coming from, that you care about them, and you care about them for the right reasons, which quite frankly is for them and their family, then when it is time to turn that page to a more professional conversation of maybe an even more edgy conversation, we'll be in a good position to do that.

While the approach may be what the Yankees are looking for, the results Wedge has produced in his time at the helm would probably make him a bit of a stretch as a serious candidate for the job. He has not managed since 2013 and after spending some time as an analyst for ESPN, Wedge has spent the last two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays as a player development advisor. While he may not have produced the best results, Wedge has a wealth of experience and a philosophy on managing players that clearly has the Yankees intrigued. 

Article by Matt Graziano


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