With John Farrell having departed Toronto for his “dream job” in Boston, the Blue Jays become one of just two current managerial openings (along with Colorado). The Toronto Sun‘s Bob Elliott reported this afternoon that former Rockies manager Jim Tracy is a candidate for the job, as is Manny Acta, late of Cleveland.
The Sun article goes so far as to handicap the field for the club’s next bench boss, with Tracy, Acta, and Sandy Alomar Jr each listed as 3-1 favorites. Former Mariners boss Don Wakamatsu, who is Toronto’s bench coach, is next in the rankings.
The most intriguing names come further down the list, however. Former Blue Jay catcher and Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt shows up at 25-1, just behind Cito Gaston, a two-time former Jays manager. At age 68, it’s unlikely Gaston would want another shot at bringing the Jays back to prominence especially after his last stint didn’t go as planned. He did lead Toronto to the only two World Series titles in franchise history, winning back-to-back crowns in 1992 and 1993.
The Blue Jays have only ever hired two managers who had previously held the same job with another club, Bobby Cox and Jim Fregosi, so one would assume that neither Acta nor Tracy would be the favorites. While both have their qualities, neither has been outstanding to the point that others shouldn’t be considered or even preferred for the Blue Jays job.
Candidates like Demarlo Hale and Tim Wallach have been putting in their dues for years and have had great success as coaches. Brad Ausmus is a highly-regarded candidate as well, who was also interviewed by Boston.
Elliott also listed Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux as a candidate and he might be the best-suited for a managerial role, but he withdrew his name from consideration for two openings last off-season, citing a desire to stay close to his family in Texas.