With the World Series over (Congratulations Cubs) and the offseason officially upon us, we should expect the team to name a manager soon. Yesterday a report came out from ESPN's Pedro Gomez that the team is down to four candidates: Alex Cora, Torey Lovullo, Phil Nevin, and Don Wakamatsu. The report also included speculation the two finalists are likely Lovullo and Nevin, which Bob Nightengale confirmed.
Both of the finalists have ties to the organization, with Phil Nevin being the manager of the Diamondbacks AAA affiliate, the Reno Aces. Nevin has managed many of the players on the Diamondbacks current roster, whether it was rehabbing players or players coming up the farm system. Lovullo has more ties to the new regime, part of the Mike Hazen-Amiel Sawdaye regime that's been only two weeks old. Lovullo is the Red Sox current bench coach, but does come with 48 games of managerial experience at the MLB level when he filled in for John Farrell at the end of the 2015 season. I do think Lovullo gets named the manager over Nevin because Hazen and Sawdaye are going to want to bring in someone they feel comfortable working with.
The manager job isn't going to be easy for whoever gets hired. The Diamondbacks have one of the youngest and inexperienced rosters in MLB, a team that hasn't had any success in the last 5 years with Paul Goldschmidt being the only member left on the roster that was part of the 2011 NL West winning squad, and depleted depth behind a very solid starting lineup. However, I have to think that early success/failures won't be easily measured in wins and losses as the front office has to clean up the mess made by the last regime and put their plans into action. There is enough talent on the roster that a .500 season in 2017 is not completely unreasonable but as we saw in 2016 has a high chance of blowing up in the next manager's face.
In addition towards the roster, there is going to be a lot of changes on the coaching staff. It will be interesting to see if 1B coach Dave McKay sticks with the team because the Diamondbacks have been one of the best teams running the bases since he arrived in 2014. Glenn Sherlock might be a lock to stick in some capacity because of his ability to instruct catchers, he helped turned Miguel Montero into an All-Star catcher. Sherlock has survived many regime changes in his tenure with Arizona, which started in 1998. Mike Butcher is probably a lock to be replaced as much of the Dbacks 2016 problems were on pitching and since you can't fire all the players, the pitching coach gets the axe. What we do know is if the team hires Lovullo that he isn't allowed to make a raid on the Red Sox coaching staff, which kind of makes me sad because I wanted the Dbacks to hire their hitting coach.
Whenever the decision on which manager will lead the club next season, we'll be ready to pass along the news.