The baseball offseason is a period filled with rumors and speculation as 29 teams try to catch up to the World Series champions. The New York Mets have already made some changes, hiring a new manager in Mickey Callaway and looking for a brand new coaching staff. While free agency is still a few days away, the Mets and the rest of the National League East have already gone through a ton of changes without a single player switching teams. Lets do a quick reset of all the movement thus far:
Setup At Beginning of 2017: Manager Terry Collins, General Manager Sandy Alderson
Setup Now: Manager Mickey Callaway, GM Alderson
The Mets got the ball rolling when Collins resigned at the end of the season. Collins accepted a front office position, but some members of his staff were let go, including pitching coach Dan Warthen and trainer Ray Ramirez. Hitting coach Kevin Long is also expected to depart after being passed over for the manager’s chair by Alderson. Aside from third base coach Glenn Sherlock, the coaching staff will likely have a completely new feel this season. The front office staff is largely intact, although there is a bit of ambiguity right now about Alderson’s official title.
Setup At Beginning of 2017: Manager Dusty Baker, GM Mike Rizzo
Setup Now: Manager Dave Martinez, GM Rizzo
The Nationals won 95 games and won the NL East, but suffered another disappointing playoff exit after blowing Game 5 of the Division Series at home to the Chicago Cubs. Ownership didn’t take the loss lightly, opting to let veteran manager Dusty Baker go over the clear objection of GM Mike Rizzo. The decision to let Baker go was highly criticized by the national media, especially since Baker won two division titles and 324 regular season games in his two years on the job. The Nationals chose to hire Chicago Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez as their new manager over the weekend, giving him a three year deal. Martinez brings a ton of impressive credentials to the job, including 10 years as a bench coach under Joe Maddon with the Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays. The fact that the Nationals didn’t even look into Joe Girardi, who the Yankees surprisingly let go last Thursday, is stunning. Martinez will also need a new coaching staff after the Nationals let go of their old group, including respected pitching coach Mike Maddux, who was immediately hired by the St. Louis Cardinals. The new staff won’t have an easy task since they need to win over a veteran locker room that has seen five different managers in the past seven years.
Setup At Beginning of 2017: Manager Don Mattingly, GM Michael Hill, Owner Jeffrey Loria
Setup Now: Manager Mattingly, GM Hill, Owner Derek Jeter
The Marlins are the only team in the division with the same manager and GM now as they did at the beginning of the season, but they aren’t immune from change. Owner Jeffrey Loria sold the franchise to a group headlined by former Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter, and Jeter has been working hard to clean house. Several long time members of the Marlins’ front office, such as Tony Perez and Jeff Conine, have left the organization while Jeter fills the staff with his preferred people. The Marlins are also widely expected to undergo another fire sale to cut payroll, with stars such as Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich all on the trade block. Jeter appears committed to a full on rebuild of the franchise, so things could look very different in Miami in a couple of months.
Setup At Beginning of 2017: Manager Brian Snitker, GM John Coppolella
Setup Now: Manager Snitker, GM TBA
The Braves opened a new ballpark in 2017 in the midst of a rebuilding year, and while their results on the field improved they ran into more problems off of it. GM John Coppolella resigned after reports emerged that the Braves committed rules violations in international free agency under his watch. That post has remained vacant with former Indians’ executive John Hart in the role on an interim basis until a full time replacement is found. The change in GM’s is a big challenge for a team in the midst of a lengthy rebuild, and who the Braves end up hiring could significantly how fast they can return to contention.
Setup At Beginning of 2017: Manager Pete Mackanin, GM Matt Klentak
Setup Now: Manager Gabe Kapler, GM Klentak
Like the Braves, the Phillies entered 2017 in the midst of a lengthy rebuild. Manager Pete Mackanin guided the Phillies through two and a half years of their building project, but he was fired before the final series of the season. The Phillies transitioned Mackanin to a front office role and went with Los Angeles Dodgers’ Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler as his replacement. Kapler, a former big league player, beat out former Red Sox’ skipper John Farrell and Triple-A skipper Dusty Wathan due to his strong background in analytics. The Phillies, like the Mets and Nationals, are looking to embrace analytics more in the dugout and Kapler is certainly an intriguing candidate for the post. Klentak, who is trying to bring the Phillies back to the top of the division relatively soon, clearly believes that Kapler is the guy to help the Phillies win again.