MLB rumors: Phillies narrow manager search to Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter

Only a week has passed since the Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Gabe Kapler after two so-so seasons, yet the organization is already closing in on naming a successor. According to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies are down to three finalists: Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, and Buck Showalter. The Phillies will interview all three again in the coming days, and could make a final decision on their choice as soon as next week.

The old rule of thumb is that teams tend to hire the opposite of whomever they just fired. That appears to be the guiding principle here. Whereas Kapler was a rookie manager with iconoclastic aspirations, the trio above are all known quantities who have combined to manage 51 seasons' worth of regular-season games. Each has their pros and cons.

Baker, 70, would be the oldest manager in baseball. He's known as a skilled interpersonal communicator who gets the most out of his players. Baker has a preexisting relationship with Bryce Harper, which is likely a plus, and is more open minded about new ideas than he receives credit for being. The downside with Baker is that despite his regular-season success -- he has more 90-plus win efforts than sub-.500 seasons -- he's never enjoyed much postseason success, having mustered only one World Series appearance.

Girardi, 55, has the most regular-season success of the trio, having won more than 55 percent of his games. He's also won a World Series, which is more than either Baker or Showalter can say. Girardi was fired from the New York Yankees in part due to a perceived inability to relate to the modern player. Still, it's hard to overlook his track record.

Showalter, 63, remains the ultimate turnaround king. Each of the four teams he's managed have won at least 15 more games in his second full season than in his first. There have been murmurs in the past -- and especially toward the end of his tenure with the Baltimore Orioles -- about Showalter wanting more than the standard manager. Given that Showalter has a history with various Phillies decisionmakers from their shared time in Baltimore, his inclusion in the final three could be a sign that those rumors were untrue or overstated.

The Phillies, of course, are just one of the teams seeking a new skipper. You can keep up with all the latest managerial changes and rumors by bookmarking our tracker

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories