The future Cleveland Guardians intend to have Terry Francona back at manager in time for the 2022 season, according to what president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti told MLB.com's Mandy Bell on Saturday.
Francona originally stepped away from his post in late July so that he could deal with various health issues, including recent surgeries on his toe and his hip. Francona is still in a cast, and will remain in that state for another eight weeks as he continues his recovery. After that, he can finally return to his home in Arizona.
"We have to be cognizant of that, but with where we are right now, we continue to plan looking at '22 with Tito as our manager," Antonetti said. "If at some point that changes, we're going to have to reconsider and relook at things at that point. But we have no reason to think that will be the case."
Francona has served as Cleveland's manager since the 2013 season. He's amassed a 744-593 record during that span, winning 55.6 percent of his regular season contests. Francona has also led Cleveland to three division titles and the 2016 American League pennant. (Cleveland lost in the World Series to the Chicago Cubs.) Prior to taking over in Cleveland, Francona managed the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. He won a pair of World Series titles during his stay in Boston. In addition to the championships, Francona presently ranks 17th on the all-time managerial wins list.
With Francona sidelined, Cleveland has had bench coach DeMarlo Hale serving as the interim skipper. The future Guardians were 50-49 on the day Francona stepped away. They've since gone 21-25, though obviously that may have happened regardless of who was managing the team.
Francona is second in Cleveland franchise history in managerial wins, behind Mike Hargrove. He's also third in overall games managed, behind Hargrove and Lou Boudreau.