Lets just get this out of the way, barring some unforeseen scandal or conflict, it is very unlikely that any MLB team will remove any of their managers before the end of the 2018 season. It is possible that one or more will announce that they won’t stay on or you will here rumors that teams are exploring other options, but for the most part what teams have right now at the top of the coaching totem pole is what they will end the season with.
However, that does not mean by any stretch that we cannot discern some prime candidates to not come back next season. I am purposefully ignoring Mike Scioscia in this discussion because it is already out there that he is not going to come back and talking at any length about that is a waste of time. Here are four managers that could very easily not be back in the fold after the 2018 season.
This is an easy place to start. On the one hand, you have a relatively new manager that was placed in a difficult situation with factors like injuries that were outside of his control. However, he is also the manager that has Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zach Wheeler in his rotation and his team is still one of the easier wins in MLB right now.
Team wins and losses isn’t a definitive way to define a manager’s worth especially when you factor in rebuilding teams and whatnot. However, the team has seen talented prospects on the offensive side take steps back and, more importantly, this was a team that was expected to be competitive and instead it has looked like they gave up back in May. Combine that with a discombobulated and new front office for the Mets and Callaway could be one of the first managers to be looking for employment elsewhere.
Buck has been around forever and is generally a well-regarded manager in the industry, although some have questioned his management of younger players. However, the bigger issue here is that the Orioles owner is Peter Angelos and all that guy cares about is having people do what he says and figure out how to get wins after the fact.
The Orioles had a down year last year and rather than go for a rebuild, they bet on trying to be competitive this year on the backs of Chris Davis and Manny Machado. This predictably did not go well as they currently sport the worst record in the majors at 36-85. Showalter likely has little interest in managing through a rebuild and the Orioles could very easily decide that the results on the field combined with what (hopefully) will be a lengthy rebuild is that they need to go in a different direction.
The Nationals were pre-season favorites to win the National League East and among the World Series favorites coming into the 2018 season. All they have done since then is disappoint. The Nationals are 61-61 right now and in third place in their division despite having a roster that looks pretty on paper with Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, etc.
This is another case of “do you let go of a first year manager?” and measuring how much of Washington’s struggles is truly on him. However, Martinez has been unable to light a fire under this team and when a guy says “I don’t know what else to do” in regards to the team’s struggles, it isn’t a great signal to send. Washington will likely look very different next season and a different voice to lead a group of young players with less expectations placed on him may be the best course. It is interesting to wonder what Dusty Baker would have done with this team in 2018...but that is neither here nor there.
Finally, we have Jeff Banister with the Texas Rangers. Banister won American League Manager of the Year in 2015, but that seems like a long time ago for the last place Rangers. They have some interesting young players like Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo, but Adrian Beltre is likely to be done playing soon and Elvis Andrus and Shin-Shoo Choo aren’t getting any younger either. Combine that with a pitching staff that appears to be loosely held together with scotch tape and silly string and that is a recipe for a team that is going to be rebuilding for a while.
Banister has experience managing and developing young players, but he also does not have a winning season since 2016 and general manager Jon Daniels, who already got his contract extension, could want to see a different face at the helm after this season.