One name within the St. Louis Cardinals organization will likely be on the move this offseason– the AAA manager.
The St. Louis Cardinals should do all they can to keep Stubby Clapp in Memphis but I’m predicting that they won’t have the chance. Why? Well, Stubby has shown his worth twice over in the last two seasons and this should put him at the top of the list for several organizations seeking managerial help in 2019.
In 2017, Stubby lead the Memphis Redbirds to the PCL Championship game. They took the title but failed to land the AAA title. Then, in 2018 with a team that many would claim had less talent than the year before, Stubby took his Redbirds to the PCL Championship game, won it, then won in hands-down fashion in the AAA championship game.
So where is Stubby likely to go?
Currently, all the managerial openings for 2019 sit in the American League save for the one lone ranger in the NL, the Reds. According to MLBTR, the Reds are nearing their managerial selection and Stubby doesn’t appear on their list.
The American League teams seeking managers are the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Baltimore might be a great spot for Clapp. After dismissing Buck Showalter who allowed the Orioles to lose 115 games in 2018, the Orioles would love a manager who has a proven track record of winning. This is precisely what Clapp has done these past two seasons.
According to BaltimoreBaseball.com, the team is less likely to spend money on high-dollar targets such as Joe Girardi or (gulp) Mike Matheny. The team may instead look to a young up-and-coming-name like Clapp who could be had for lesser dollars.
The American League team in LA watched as it’s 19-season manager announced his departure following the 2018 season. Mike Scioscia had been on a rather warm seat for the past two seasons and his departure did not surprise me.
What would surprise me would be for Stubby to be on the list for the LA job as it would seem to me that they would be seeking a bigger splash name. According to SportingNews, the likely candidates include Eric Chavez, Joe Girardi, and Brad Ausmus. These names make more sense to me than does Clapp for this post.
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Twins manager Paul Molitor was fired at the start of October after holding the manager role for four seasons with two remaining on his contract. Molitor will enjoy a paycheck for the next two years from the Twins but so will their new manager.
Clapp is not listed on the Twins interview list according to MLBTR. Their list includes Twins’ bench coach Derek Shelton, Mark DeRosa, David Ross (forgive me for laughing at this), and others. Based on the names on the list, I don’t believe that Clapp would fit the ilk they are seeking which would be a mistake in my book but a good one for Memphis Redbirds fans.
Jeff Banister seemed like a really good fit for the Rangers. He took the team to two division titles in the past three years. But then again, even the horrible Matheny carried the St. Louis Cardinals to postseason play… Banister had one year remaining on his contract.
John Gibbons is out and Stubby Clapp is from Canada… Oh, and Clapp’s name is on the list of potential candidates for the Toronto team. The Toronto GM has announced 10-plus candidates that he anticipates interviewing via phone and in person, and, as I said before, Clapp’s name is on the list.
To me, this is the best fit for Clapp this season. In fact, this is likely the best fit overall for Clapp. This makes sense and would not surprise me to see Stubby heading to the north to take his first MLB managerial role.
Let me remind you all that I overhead the Memphis Redbirds’ GM talking about the rise of Stubby to a local Memphis reporter way back around Father’s Day. In this overhearing, the AAA St. Louis Cardinals’ GM was saying how difficult it will be to keep Stubby since his stock was rising. To me, this stock fills the need in Toronto nicely.
I don’t want Stubby to leave but also don’t see him rising to take the managerial gig in St. Louis anytime soon. That said, I would love to root for Stubby to continue to succeed whether with the St. Louis Cardinals organization or with another MLB team (just not one the Cards must regularly face).