The Pittsburgh Pirates managerial search seems like it could be coming to an end. The team is apparently down to two candidates.
With Ben Cherington and Travis Williams in place, the one position that has remained unfilled for the Pittsburgh Pirates is the team’s manager. The search started not long after the 2019 season ended, but was put on hold when the team saw the rest of the front office be overturned. Naturally, the team had to fill the team President and General Manager positions before anything else.
It now appears that the team is getting closer to a conclusion on their managerial search. This was expected with General Manager Ben Cherington starting his search immediately after being hired. According to reports, Cherington liked the foundation that was set by the previous regime and would consider the same candidates.
Late last week it was believed to be down to three candidates. This included Tampa Bay Rays’ bench coach Matt Quatraro, Twins’ bench coach Derek Shelton, and Athletics’ quality control coach and former player Mark Kotsay. All three were previously part of the process of the former regime as well.
It now appears that the managerial search has reached the final stage. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, it is down to two remaining candidates. Heyman has been all over the Pittsburgh Pirates managerial search with a lot of updates on who the team is talking with. Heyman tweeted yesterday:
These are two interesting candidates who both have been covered in great detail here at Rum Bunter. Derek Shelton had a large part in the Twins’ record-breaking offense this past year. He also put together a lot of good years in Tampa Bay working under Joe Maddon. He gets credit for helping hitters like Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Ben Zobrist reach their potential. Last year he helped players like Nelson Cruz, Max Kapler, and Mitch Garver have career years.
Meanwhile, Matt Quatraro is currently doing a lot of good things in Tampa Bay, who has been consistently in playoff contention the last few years. He was their third base coach starting in 2018 and then was promoted to bench coach last year after Charlie Montoyo got the managerial job in Toronto. He was the Cleveland Indians assistant hitting coach from 2014-2017.
Shelton would be my preferred choice as he has an overall larger scope of work. However, either candidate would be a solid hire. Both of the candidates’ primary experience has come in small markets. Not only do they know how to operate a team with a tighter budget, but they also should know the importance of developing young talent. The good news is both have seemed to do a good job of doing that over the years and would be is a position to do so in Pittsburgh.