The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the seven teams with a managerial opening, but team president Andy MacPhail and general Matt Klentak appear to be getting closer to reaching a decision.
According to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are holding "follow-up interviews" with Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi for their managerial opening. Breen added that the trio "are believed to be the only three candidates" at this point, and a decision should be made by next week.
All three have tremendous resumes, with Baker most certainly on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was let go by the Nationals in 2017 despite leading the team to consecutive NL East division titles. Baker has 1,863 career wins and three NL Manager of the Year Awards on his resume. He led the San Francisco Giants to a World Series appearance in 2002.
Showalter was let go by the Baltimore Orioles after they went a dismal 47-115 in 2018. The three-time AL Manager of the Year has 1,551 wins on his resume - having managed the New York Yankees (1995 to '95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998 to 2000), Texas Rangers (2003 to '06) and Baltimore Orioles (2010 to '18).
As for Girardi, he was surprisingly let go by the Yankees in 2017 even though they fell just one game short of reaching the World Series. He went 910-710 over 10 seasons as manager of the Yankees, leading them to a World Series Championship in 2009.
Philadelphia fired manager Gabe Kapler after the team finished a mere 81-81 on the season - fourth in the NL East - in a year of championship aspirations, having landed two former NL MVPs in Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen on free agency. The Phillies compiled a record of 161-163 during Kapler's two-year tenure.
There were eight managerial openings until the Los Angeles Angels hired Joe Maddon on Wednesday. Besides the Phillies, the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs (who parted ways with Maddon), San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates are also in the stages of looking for a new manager.
Phillies Can't Go Wrong With Either Candidate
Baker and Showalter have excellent track records of turning teams around in short time, and they both carry Hall of Fame credentials. As for Girardi, the Yankees were a consistent winner under his watch. Kapler had no managerial experience prior to being hired by the Phillies, and that hire didn't go so well. As such, it makes sense that the front office is looking at somebody with plenty of experience. And at the end of the day, the Phillies can't go wrong with either Baker, Showalter or Girardi.