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Phillies have their eyes on Baltimore’s Showalter

The Phillies managerial search is as wide-open as a managerial search can be. It has been reported that the Phillies will interview Cleveland’s Mickey Callaway, Iron Pig’s manager Dusty Wathan, special assistant to the General Manager Jorge Velandia, and Rockies’ bench coach Mike Redmond, among others. (Link is to mlbtraderumors.com’s compiling of related news.)

However, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, the top candidate is one of baseball’s top skippers: Baltimore Orioles’ bench boss Buck Showalter.

Here is Cafardo’s take on the situation:

The Mets, Tigers, and Phillies have managerial openings and Farrell could emerge in one of those spots. The Mets currently see hitting coach Kevin Long as the front-runner. The Phillies still have their sights on Buck Showalter (if Orioles owner Peter Angelos lets him out of the last year of his contract and receives compensation). The Tigers could go in a number of different directions. Not sure Farrell would want to get into a rebuild there.

Showalter was hired by then-Orioles President and current Phillies President Andy MacPhail. Phillies GM Matt Klentak, an assistant GM with the Orioles, worked with Showalter when they were together in Baltimore in the early 2010s. Ned Rice, who currently serves as the Phillies assistant GM, was the Orioles assistant GM from 2012-2015, and worked closely with Showalter.

Besides connections with the team, Buck Showalter also possesses qualities that previous manager Pete Mackanin lacks. Showalter is a no-nonsense skipper who has a strict set of guidelines for his players, while Mackanin seemed very lax with his players (see Herrera, Odubel and flips, bat.) His in-game managing abilities are considered quality, while Mackanin’s are considered below average. Most of all, Showalter brings a winning pedigree to the team (10 winning seasons in 18 seasons.)

However, like Cafardo stated, Showalter is still under contract with Baltimore. That means if the Phillies wanted Showalter, they would have to trade for him. The last time a team traded for a manager? The Marlins traded prospects to the White Sox for skipper Ozzie Guillen.

By the way, Guillen lasted one season in Miami. Let’s hope Showalter could last a little longer.

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