With just over a month remaining in Major League Baseball's regular season, the 30 clubs are collectively trying to do the unthinkable: navigate an entire campaign without firing a manager. That's right. We're this far into the league's calendar, and not a single skipper has received their walking papers. For reference, four managers had been fired by this time last season.
Of course, managerial changes are often a lagging indicator of team performance. The skippers most at risk are oftentimes those whose teams have underplayed expectations. (Contractual status is another oft-obscured factor, with teams showing a greater willingness to give a manager the boot if they're on an expiring deal.) It's not always fair, but that's how this results-based business works: managers get the credit in good times and the blame in bad.
We here at CBS Sports don't want to see anyone lose their job. Sizing up who might be on the hot seat is part of the job, however, and below we've identified and ranked six managers we felt merited mention. The managers are presented in order of their seat's perceived warmth.
1. Phil Nevin, Angels
Nevin, who took over when the Angels fired Joe Maddon last summer, feels certain to be a victim of circumstances beyond his control. His actual managerial ability doesn't matter. He never had the roster to contend in Los Angeles, and he probably never will. What matters is if the Angels think changing managers can help keep Shohei Ohtani around. If the answer is yes, Nevin will go; if the answer is no, well … Nevin might go anyway. Should Ohtani leave, the Angels are going to be in for a world of hurt. That usually means hiring a younger manager who can gain valuable on-the-job experience while overseeing a lot of losses on the road back to respectability.
2. Buck Showalter, Mets
The Mets have been, by most any rubric, the most disappointing team in the majors this season. They were among preseason favorites to compete for a World Series title; instead, they'll spend the rest of the summer jockeying for draft lottery positioning. Showalter can't be blamed for all that has ailed them this season, but he faltered in his attempts to guide them back on course. Add in how Showalter has just a year remaining on his contract, and how this could be the offseason that sees owner Steven Cohen hire a new top baseball executive, and we think there's a fair chance the Mets make a change in the dugout.
3. Aaron Boone, Yankees
The Yankees were ---- reportedly content to bring back executive Brian Cashman. Boone, signed through 2024 with a club option for 2025, seems less certain to return. It feels like Boone has become a fixture in these pieces. He's not the actor most responsible for their recent struggles -- they've won one of the last four AL East crowns and haven't played in the World Series since 2009 -- yet he's certainly the most expendable. You figure the Yankees will have to do something if they finish last in the division for the first time since 1990.
4. Pedro Grifol, White Sox
You should never bet on Jerry Reinsdorf adding unnecessary expenses to the books, but the White Sox have to at least reconsider keeping Grifol around for the next two years based on how his first season has played out. The club has underperformed by a wide margin and they've had their leadership-slash-culture openly questioned in the press by former players. Grifol's predecessor, Tony La Russa, got most of two seasons at the helm. Maybe the White Sox will prove equally generous to Grifol.
5. Oli Marmol, Cardinals
You would think that Marmol would get a pass for this season given how everything that could go wrong for the Cardinals did go wrong. He might, but it's hard to overlook how poorly he handled the Tyler O'Neill and Willson Contreras situations earlier in the year. The Cardinals' front office has shown a willingness to make a bold move in the dugout when it feels justified -- hence Marmol being promoted to manager in place of veteran skipper Mike Shildt in the first place. We'll see if they feel that it's time to try another voice.
6. Bob Melvin, Padres
Melvin seemed like the perfect person to extract the most from the Padres roster, the way he had with a number of Athletics teams during his time in Oakland. Alas, that hasn't happened through most of his first two seasons in town. Melvin has just one year remaining on his deal, making him a potentially convenient scapegoat should the Padres fail to reach the postseason.