Six possible candidates for Phillies' next manager

IronPigs’ manager Dusty Wathan will be a top candidate to replace Pete Mackanin as the Phillies’ manager.

The Phillies will enter an offseason for the first time since 2004 without a manager. The search for the 54th  manager in the franchise’s history will begin “immediately,” general manager Matt Klentak said. There will be both internal and external candidates. Here are a few possible ones to know, in alphabetical order:

Brad Ausmus

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Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

Things quickly soured in Detroit, where Ausmus was fired last week as manager. He is 48, an alumnus of Dartmouth College like Klentak, and regarded as a forward-thinking baseball man. But there were questions at the end of his Tigers tenure about a disconnect between Ausmus and his players.

Alex Cora

He is in his first season as Houston’s bench coach and his name has surfaced for various managerial jobs in recent offseasons. The 41-year-old former infielder has never been a manager, but is hailed for his progressive approach.

Joe McEwing

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White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing.

The 44-year-old Bristol native has interviewed for managerial jobs before. He enjoyed a lengthy career as a bench player in the majors, known as an energetic and supportive teammate. He has spent the last six seasons on the Chicago White Sox staff and moved from third-base coach to bench coach in 2017.

Buck Showalter

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Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

He is under contract through 2018, but Showalter is said to be engaged in a power struggle with his boss, general manager Dan Duquette, as the Orioles plot their future course. Showalter has long-standing relationships with many in the current Phillies’ front office. If he — somehow — is fired, Showalter would vault to the top of the Phillies’ list.

Jorge Velandia

Camera icon DAVID MAIALETTI / File Photograph
Phillies GM Matt Klentak, left, talks with spring instructor Jorge Velandia, right, at spring training.

The former infielder has gained a trusted role within the Phillies’ front office because of his diverse background as a player and talent evaluator. Velandia, 42, has served as a coach and executive with a strong influence in the development of some of the team’s Latin American prospects.

Dusty Wathan

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK / File Photograph
IronPigs manager Dusty Wathan.

Few, if any coaches, know the young Phillies roster as well as Wathan does. He managed many of the prospects at double-A Reading and then this season at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Wathan, 44, has big-league managerial aspirations. He is sure to receive an interview.

— Matt Gelb