Phillies manager rumors: Is Buck Showalter a candidate?

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 24: Manager Buck Showalter #26 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 24: Manager Buck Showalter #26 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /
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Orioles manager Buck Showalter could be on his way out In Baltimore, is he a viable candidate for the Phillies manager vacancy?

There have been whispers that the Phillies may target Buck Showalter in their search for their vacant managerial position.

Showalter has been in Baltimore for eight. seasons. The Orioles struggled this year on their way to a record of 75-87, well below expectations given the talent on their roster.

A major hurdle in the way if the Phillies did want to pursue Showalter is that he is under contract through next season. This means he and the Orioles organization would need to part ways with each other before his contract expires.

Given the trajectory the Orioles seem to be trending in, such an idea is not out of the realm of possibility.

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Since 2012, the team has won no less than 81 games before this season. The organization has a lot of big decisions to make moving forward to stay relevant in a division where the Red Sox and Yankees have a wealth of young talent.

The first major decision will come with regard to star third baseman Manny Machado. Machado is one of the best young stars in baseball; however he is set to become a free agent after the 2018 season.

Machado will assuredly be offered massive contracts by other suitors, and there is no guarantee that the Orioles will be able to keep him. The organization could explore the trade market for Machado to retool their minor league system, and start a rebuild to help compete with the Yankees and Red Sox down the line.

Along with Machado, star closer Zach Britton is also set to become a free agent after the 2018 season. He is another trade piece the team could use.

If the Orioles were to go down this route, it is unlikely that a manager with the resume of Showalter would want to be a part of that.

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The Phillies on the other hand have a core of young players that Showalter could develop to help them achieve their full potential. A situation like this could be more appealing to the 61-year-old manager.

Showalter also has connections to many member of the Phillies front office, which could make the organization more appealing. President Andy MacPhail hired him in 2010 and GM Matt Klentak worked along Showalter in 2010 and 2011 while he was with the Orioles. Assistant GM Ned Rice was also with the Orioles from 2012 until 2015, and also has a working relationship with Showalter.

The connections do not stop there as Joe Jordan, Philadelphia’s farm director, used to be the scouting director for the Orioles.

Showalter praised Jordan when he accepted the job in Philly, stating: [quote via the Baltimore Sun]

"“I think the world of Joe,” Showalter said. “He’s a hard worker with a passion for scouting and player development. The Orioles are going to miss him. The Phillies got a good man. If he’s leaving us, I’m glad he’s going to the National League.”"

With such admiration for Jordan, Showalter may jump at the chance to work with him again.

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Something drastic would need to happen in order for Showalter to be available, but this is baseball and stranger things have happened in the past. While unlikely to occur, there is always the small possibility he and the Orioles part ways, and if so; he would be at the top of Philadelphia’s wish list.

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