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Guardians hire Vogt as manager, Mets hire Mendoza, Cubs hire Counsell

Former major league catcher Stephen Vogt is taking over for the retiring Terry Francona

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Cleveland Guardians have announced the hiring of former major league catcher Stephen Vogt as their new manager. He is replacing Terry Francona, who retired after the 2023 season.

Jeff Passan has the details on the Vogt hiring. When I saw this my initial reaction was, wasn’t Vogt playing in the majors just a few years ago? The answer to that is yes — he was actually playing in the majors just 13 months ago, with his final game coming with the Oakland A’s on October 5, 2022.

Vogt, who turned 39 last week, spent parts of 10 seasons in the majors. He played primarily for the A’s, but also logged time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Tampa Bay Rays, The San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers.

He spent the 2023 season as the bullpen and quality control coach for the Seattle Mariners. Vogt now looks to fill the shoes of a future Hall of Fame manager in Francona.

UPDATE — The New York Mets have, per multiple reports, hired New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their new manager. Mendoza replaces Buck Showalter, who was dismissed once the Mets hired David Stearns at the end of the 2023 season as their new president of baseball operations.

The 43 year old Mendoza had been part of the Yankees’ system as a coach since 2009.

UPDATE II — Per multiple reports, the Chicago Cubs have hired Craig Counsell as their new manager. The Cubs already have a manager — David Ross, who took the helm prior to the 2020 season — but apparently have decided that snagging Counsell from their division rivals in Milwaukee represents enough of an upgrade to make a change.

Counsell took over as the Milwaukee Brewers’ manager early in the 2015 season, and has guided the Brewers to an above .500 finish every year since 2017 except for 2020, when Milwaukee went 29-31. The Brewers finished first in the N.L. Central in 2018, 2021 and 2023, and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team in 2019 and 2020.

Counsell was a free agent after the 2023 season, and while the Brewers wanted him back — reportedly offering to make him the highest paid manager in the game — Counsell was seen as one of hottest managerial options available this offseason.

UPDATE III — Craig Counsell is getting a record setting $8 million per year on a 5 year, $40 million deal, per reports.