Coming off a year that saw seven managerial vacancies open, two following retirements, MLB will see significant turnover in the 2020 season. It serves as a reminder that patience runs thin, an important lesson for several managers heading into next season.
In the case of the Chicago Cubs parting ways with Joe Madden, his time with the club ran its course and consecutive disappointing seasons sealed his fate. Similar can be said for Bruce Bochy, who agreed to leave the San Francisco Giants after winning three World series rings in a decade.
It puts some of the game’s top managers on notice heading into 2020. Expectations are high in Los Angeles and New York — there’s no way around it. Of course, Dave Roberts and Aaron Boone won’t be the only skippers that will coach with their jobs potentially on the line next season.
Here are five managers who will be on the hot seat in 2020.
Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers moved on from Don Mattingly after he failed to reach the World Series with a championship-caliber roster. Roberts made it to the World Series in consecutive seasons, but falling short twice then getting knocked out in the NLDS puts his job in danger in an organization that hasn’t won a title in 31 years.
Los Angeles chose to give Roberts another year after his disastrous decisions cost them in the playoffs. He keeps making the same mistakes with how he deploys his pitchers in key situations and it costs the Dodgers every time. If he doesn’t learn from the mistakes and keeps repeating them, it would be insanity for the Dodgers to keep him. Roberts deserves a second chance, but anything short of a World Series title will likely end in his termination.
Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
Seattle made multiple changes to Servais’ coaching staff this offseason, a gesture by an organization to bring new voices into the clubhouse and to spark change. If it doesn’t yield the desired results in 2020, Servais and his 321-327 record will be the next name out the door.
The Mariners are still in a transition period, so the front office isn’t expecting playoff contention. However, failing to win 74-plus games and a lack of development from the young contributors on the roster would seal Servais’ fate. When this team is ready to compete in ’21, the Mariners might want a better manager at the helm.
Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins
The decision to extend Mattingly remains baffling. While Miami’s 276-370 record since hiring Mattingly certainly doesn’t fall squarely on his shoulders as he deals with a lack of talent, it’s not like he made the best of his days in Los Angeles with great talent.
It’s not like Miami’s core pieces for the future have shown tons of growth, either. Lewis Brinson, a former top-50 overall prospect, has a .531 OPS in 655 career at-bats. There will come a time when the Marlins need new, younger energy in that clubhouse. After reportedly taking a massive pay cut to stay next year, even that might not be enough if this team loses 95-plus games again in 2020.
Rick Renteria, Chicago White Sox
Renteria saw in his city how quickly a skipper can lose favor and be pushed out of town. The 57-year-old skipper’s reputation isn’t remotely close to Maddon’s, so he should be on notice heading into the new year.
The White Sox came into the offseason committed to fielding a team that could contend. Signing Yasmani Grandal and trading for Nomar Mazara were key additions taken to providing Renteria with a better team to manage. If the White Sox start slow, general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to pull the plug on a manager with a 201-284 record that the fans already want fired.
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
No manager is under a bigger microscope than the Yankees’ skipper. It was already true before the “Evil Empire” made its return by signing Gerrit Cole. Now, anything short of a parade in New York City will be a disappointment for this fan base.
Boone’s personality and energy have certainly been a hit with the fan base. Unfortunately, that spark only lasts for so long. This is the best team in baseball on paper and everyone – fans, media, ownership – expect the Yankees to win the World Series. Anything that falls short of that puts Boone’s seat under scorching flames with the real chance that an aggressive front office explores changes if it is disappointed.