According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, former Cardinals' outfielder Jon Jay "drew rave reviews" this past season and could potentially become a manager soon in Major League Baseball. Jay retired from baseball in 2021 after a career that saw him play in St. Louis, San Diego, Chicago (both teams), Arizona (twice), Kansas City, and finally in Los Angeles with the Angels.
Jon Jay was a beloved player in St. Louis, and each time he returned to Busch after the 2015 season, he received standing ovations. His hard work in the outfield along with his positive attitude in the dugout were always reassuring to the team. He was a part of the 2011 World Series team. Jay's Gold-Glove caliber defense that year helped the team mightily and opened up the opportunity for them to trade Colby Rasmus.
The 37-year-old Miami native was the first base coach for the Marlins this past season, and he was brought on by Skip Schumaker, a former teammate in St. Louis. The two were part of a great coaching staff that led the Marlins to the playoffs for the first time since 2003, excluding the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
It would be quite the jump for Jon Jay to go from a base coach to the manager of a team, but that transition isn't unprecedented. Craig Counsell had only worked in the front office before he was hired in 2015 to become the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. The former player has done very well for the Brewers since his hire, leading them to a 707-625 record in his 9 years along with 5 postseason appearances. Scott Servais of the Mariners played primarily in the minor leagues but was also in various front offices before becoming a manager. Since 2016, the Mariners have a record of 616-578 with 1 postseason appearance under his tutelage.
Oliver Marmol's seat is warm this year, and Yadier Molina may be joining his staff soon, thus putting even more pressure on Marmol to succeed. With the news that Jon Jay could become a manager in the near future, Cardinals fans will be more apt to clamor for Marmol's discharge from the helm. Even though the Cardinals aren't currently in the market for a new manager, they could by season's end. If Yadi is hired on the staff this offseason, he and Jon Jay would make a strong duo in the dugout.
Marmol's three-year contract is up at the end of this season, and he has yet to sign an extension. If the Cardinals have another down year, or if Marmol and the front office don't match visions for the team, it is plausible a managerial change would be made in the next calendar year. Perhaps Yadier Molina or Jon Jay would be good candidates to fill that role.