With this afternoon's news that Pete Mackanin will not return for his third full season of managing the Phillies in 2018, general manager Matt Klentak, president Andy MacPhail and partner John Middleton will now embark on a managerial search. Here's a list of possible managerial candidates - not necessarily in order of likelihood - from all different backgrounds.
1. Dusty Wathan
Dusty Wathan, coach of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, would be the only internal fit. Wathan is the winningest manager in Double-A Reading's history and has coached a majority of the young talent in the upper levels of the Phillies' organization. At 44, Wathan is eventually going to be a major league manager, though it's fair to wonder if Middleton wouldn't want the team to make a sexier hire. But if the Phillies elect to go with a young, first time manager, they may be overthinking it to go outside of their organization.
2. John Russell
Orioles bench coach John Russell also is an interesting name. While I did say over the summer that I don't think Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail would be eager to reunite, Russell played for the Phillies, has managerial experience and connections to both MacPhail and Klentak. Russell was actually a candidate to be name the team's manager after Terry Francona was fired in 2000 and had a stint as the organization's Triple-A manager as well.
3. Brad Mills
A year after blowing a 3-1 lead in the World Series, the Cleveland Indians have won over 100 games and appear to be as dangerous as any team in the sport heading into October. If they have an impressive run in the playoffs, Mills, who is Terry Francona's long-time bench coach, may get a second chance to manage. Mills, who was the Phillies bench coach from 1997-2000, posted just a .384 winning percentage in three seasons as the Astros manager. In his defense, he didn't have much to work with and his reputation around the league remains stellar. Sports talk radio may explode if the Phillies hired the 60-year-old, but he would be a name to watch. Again, we're not sure if the Phillies are looking for a specific type of manager. If they are looking for a younger name, Mills wouldn't be a fit.
4. Chris Woodward
The 41-year-old, who is the Dodgers third base coach, may be a name that starts to garner interest around the league this offseason. Woodward briefly played for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2008, so he has some connections to the organization. He also managed New Zealand in their failed attempt to qualify for this year's World Baseball Classic, giving him some experience as a manager. He's probably a few years away from getting serious looks as a manager, but he is a name to keep in mind.
5. Ron Gardenhire
This is perhaps the most interesting name, because he does fit the bill of a former manager who has a successful track record, and could help make the Phillies an attractive destination next offseason. He is connected to MacPhail, as he served as the team's third base coach during the end of MacPhail's run as Twins general manager. It's unclear if Gardenhire would want to manage again, but the Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach figures to draw interest from teams this offseason because of his past success and how well Arizona has played this season. For him to be hired in Philadelphia, he would have to become more fond of incorporating analytics than he was in Minnesota, however. The idea that a few years away from managing may have allowed him to reassess how he values advanced statistics doesn't seem too far-fetched.
6. Dave Martinez
In the same way that a successful playoff run could allow Mills to garner managerial interest, the Phillies could be interested in Martinez if the Cubs make a third consecutive playoff run. Though Joe Maddon made some very questionable decisions late in the World Series last year, he's considered one of the best managers in the league and will have a plaque in Cooperstown someday. Though I'm not a huge fan of the idea of it being someone's "turn," if anyone has earned a chance to manage, it's Martinez, who has been Maddon's bench coach since the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series.
7. Alex Cora
The former big-leaguer is only in his first season as the bench coach of the Houston Astros, but he's extremely well-regarded around the league and has a pretty interesting resume. In addition to a 14-year stint in the major leagues, Cora worked for ESPN for three seasons and was Puerto Rico's general manager for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, when the island made it all the way to the finals. Not that my opinion matters, but I think he's had sufficient experience around the game to be a manager, and the fact that he can speak Spanish is a nice bonus as well.
8. Joe McEwing
Though Phillies fans may remember McEwing as a utility infielder for the New York Mets in the early-2000s, he's local and as Jim Salisbury of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia pointed out, he's on the list of most teams looking to hire a new manager. According to Mike Puma of The New York Post, the current Chicago White Sox bench coach is also a candidate for the Mets managerial position.
9. Brad Ausmus
Ausmus is finishing out his fourth season as the skipper of the Tigers, with the team already having announced that they will part ways with him after the season. Ausmus may be a candidate who gives the Phillies the best of both worlds, as he's still relatively young at age 48, but also has experience under his belt as a manager. There's a good chance Ausmus will be managing somewhere in 2018.
10. Chili Davis
Davis, who won one of his three World Series titles with MacPhail's 1991 Minnesota Twins, is a dark horse. He's also coaching on the same staff as Ruben Amaro Jr. in Boston, so perhaps he could speak to how Davis has done as the team's hitting coach. After the success that Torey Lovullo has had after coaching on Boston's staff, perhaps Davis could be next-in-line to get a chance to manage.