The New York Yankees hired Joe Girardi to be the successor of Hall of Famer Joe Torre in the winter of 2007.
After a tough start and injury ridiculed 2008 season, the Yankees found themselves outside the playoff picture in the final year of the old Yankee Stadium. Girardi would lead the Yankees to a championship in 2009 and never had a losing season as Yankee skipper.
This season, the Yankees were not expected to do much and finish towards the bottom of the AL East. Girardi always believed in his young team and they rewarded him by getting to the seventh game of the American League Championship Series. New York fell just one win short of making it back to the World Series and Girardi was a major force in getting them to that point.
Now, just four days into the offseason, the Yankees announced that Girardi will not be back as manager next season. There are rumors out that the Yankees’ front office and Girardi did not see eye to eye on decisions and that was the driving force for Girardi not returning.
With Girardi gone, the Yankees have a hole that needs filling, one that won’t be easy to replace because Girardi is one of the best in the game.
Here are some potential replacements for Bronx Bombers.
1 Rob Thomson
Some people within the league feel that Rob Thompson is the favorite to replace Girardi as Yankee skipper.
Thomson has been in the Yankee organization for 28 years, ten of which have been with the major league club. He served as the team's third-base coach from 2009-2014 and has been the bench coach the last three seasons. He has filled in as manager for Girardi four times, including once this year.
The advantage that Thomson has over any other candidate is that he has been with this team daily for the past several years. He knows this roster and, along with Girardi, has a feel for the clubhouse. Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez and others in the organization think highly of Thomson and it wouldn't be a major surprise if he gets the job.
If you believe in due, this is would be the choice.
2 Al Pedrique
Al Pedrique is a name that Yankee fans have heard over the last two seasons with the team's youth movement.
Pedrique has managed the Yankees' Triple-A team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for the last two seasons and has been a manager in the organization since 2013. Each year Pedrique has been with the Yankees, he has moved up a level and now with Girardi out of the picture, Pedrique's name should be one the club considers.
The beauty of giving Pedrique a chance at the major league level is that he already has a relationship with some of the "Baby Bombers" as Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, and Clint Frazier have all played under Pedrique and have had success with the 55-year-old skipper.
Pedrique also has limited big league experience having managed the Arizona Diamondbacks mid-season in 2004, when the club went 22-61.
3 Tony Peña
Although this seems like a long shot, Tony Peña is another quality guy that the Yankees could consider as Girardi's successor.
Peña has been with the Yankees since 2005 and interviewed for the manager's job in 2007 following Joe Torre's departure. He has served in different roles with the team, seeing time as New York's first base coach and bench coach under Girardi.
He also served as the manager of Kansas City Royals from 2002-2005 and went 198-25 in his time there. Peña has also served as the manager of the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017, winning the tournament in 2013.
The experience is there for Peña, but the question is does he want to manage and, most importantly, do so in a market like New York.
4 Kevin Long
Kevin Long is no stranger to the Yankees as he served as the team's hitting coach from 2007-2014.
He since has moved on as the hitting coach for the crosstown rival New York Mets and was a candidate for their vacant managerial spot until they hired Mickey Callaway.
Long might be a reach and he is also a candidate for the Washington Nationals managing vacancy, but he shouldn't be ruled out. He and general manager Brian Cashman have a working relationship and when Long was with the Yankees, he and the team had success.
The question becomes do the Yankees want to hire someone without managerial experience with a team that fell just one win short of an appearance in the World Series?
5 Josh Paul
Josh Paul has been with the Yankee organization since 2008 and has been instrumental in the development of key players on the current roster.
Serving as the teams catching coordinator, Paul was instrumental in Gary Sanchez getting to the big leagues. Aside from Sanchez, Paul has been responsible for the development of backup catcher Austin Romine and prospect Kyle Higashioka.
Paul has some experience managing, having served as the Staten Island Yankees manager during the 2009 and 2010 seasons and went a combined 67-59.
The Yankees and Brian Cashman seem to really like Paul and he has the experience of working with some of these young players to help guide them to a place they haven't been since 2009.
No matter how you look at it, the Yankees are taking a step back letting Joe Girardi go. Some of Girardi's potential replacements have promise but will have big shoes to fill.
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