Just a little over a year removed from his playing career, Stephen Vogt is already a manager at the MLB level. The former journeyman catcher spent the 2023 season as the Bullpen coach for the Seattle Mariners. He’ll now replace Terry Francona as the manager of the Cleveland Guardians with no previous managing experience.
Its been rumored that the Guardians also met with Craig Counsell, the former Brewers manager, about the opening last week.
During his playing days, Stephen Vogt been spent 10 seasons with six teams in the MLB. Vogt homered in his final at-bat for the athletics, afterwards he had hoped his career could continue as a Manager. Taking over for Terry Francona will not be an easy task. The Guardians are regarded as one of the best teams in the American League are now in transition. Francona had spent 11 years as the teams manager and had become the winningest manager in Guardians’ history.
Almost immediately after his retirement, Vogt had been looked at as a future manager. Former catchers are often targeted as managerial prospects. There are currently 14 former catchers as managers with Vogt included.
“Stephen earned a reputation as one of the best teammates in the game across his 16-year career as a player, and we’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him over the past several weeks,” Chris Antonetti, the Guardians’ president of baseball operations, said in a statement.
“Stephen has thought critically about the type of leader and manager he wants to be. His deep care for others, his ability to build meaningful relationships with those around him, and his open-mindedness and curiosity make him an ideal fit to lead our club moving forward. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Stephen.”
The Guardians will be returning one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, with the emergence of Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen. Those three young pitchers will complement Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber. There’s a chance that the latter is traded this offseason. Cleveland’s offense remains to be a mystery, though the emergence of Josh Naylor alongside star third baseman Jose Ramirez was huge. Theres a chance that the Guardians sign a free-agent outfielder.
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