Let's take a look at some of the managerial openings around baseball and who could be filling them next season:
Braves: The Braves are 2 games ahead of the Phillies for first place in the AL East, fresh off acquiring Derrek Lee and Rick Ankiel. The team is trying to win one more for manager Bobby Cox, set to retire after this season. The Braves are reportedly looking at a few names already, but I see them going with more of a long-term guy over a big name, short-term guy.
Possible Candidates: Fredi Gonzalez, Joe Torre, Glen Hubbard, Bobby Valentine
Marlins: The Marlins decided to reward Edwin Rodriguez with the interim manager position after the firing of Fredi Gonzalez. He is unlikely to keep the managerial job (surprise, surprise) considering the Marlins are only 30-26 since he took over, but he could stay on as a coach.
Possible Candidates: Ozzie Guillen, Eric Wedge, Mike Quade, Pat Listach, Ryne Sandberg
Cardinals: Well, my initial impression of the Cardinals situation is that if the team doesn't make the playoffs, La Russa may finally walk. He would certainly find another job if he wants it. He could join the rival Cubs, he could go to the Braves, or even the Dodgers.
Possible Candidates: Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine, John Farrell
Cubs: The Cubs' search for their next manager may be the biggest of any managerial decisions this offseason. The team is not sure if they want a big name presence, or low-name guy but a baseball lifer. Somewhere in the middle would be perfect for this team bordering on complete reconstruction.
Possible Candidates: Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Girardi, Joe Torre, Eric Wedge, Ted Simmons
Dodgers: Torre has said he won't discuss his future until after the season, and all signs point to him at least testing the waters this offseason. Torre could be a fit for several clubs, most of which are in better conditions than the Dodgers. The Cubs, for one, have a stable owner who will be around for the foreseeable future. The Braves, his former club, would allow him to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Cox and work for one of the best organizations in baseball. Or, he could stay with the Dodgers.
Possible Candidates: Don Mattingly, Ron Roenicke, Fredi Gonzalez
Diamondbacks: The Dbacks are 21 games out of first and are showing no signs of shrinking that margin. Manager Kurt Gibson could stick around, but they are likely to explore outside the organization.
Possible Candidates: Clint Hurdle, Bobby Valentine, Ryne Sandberg, Pat Listach, Eric Wedge