Guardians name ex-All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt new manager

The Cleveland Guardians hired Stephen Vogt as their new manager Monday, tabbing the former All-Star catcher with no managerial experience but who has widespread respect through the game for his knowledge and leadership skills.

Vogt agreed to a three-year deal, sources told ESPN.

The Guardians will introduce Vogt during a news conference Friday at Progressive Field.

Vogt, 39, replaces Terry Francona, the future Hall of Fame manager who retired after 11 seasons with Cleveland. Vogt inherits a team in transition after a 76-86 season but just one year removed from winning the American League Central.

For the past year, Vogt served as bullpen and quality control coach for the Seattle Mariners. He retired as a player following the 2022 season after a 10-year major league career that included two All-Star appearances.

Almost immediately upon his retirement from playing, Vogt was seen as a future manager. Teams often target former catchers as managerial prospects — Vogt is the 14th former catcher among big league managers — and his experience as a clubhouse force players rallied around prompted Cleveland to look beyond his lack of experience running a team.

“Stephen earned a reputation as one of the best teammates in the game across his 16-year career as a player, and we’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him over the past several weeks,” Chris Antonetti, the Guardians’ president of baseball operations, said in a statement.

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“Stephen has thought critically about the type of leader and manager he wants to be. His deep care for others, his ability to build meaningful relationships with those around him, and his open-mindedness and curiosity make him an ideal fit to lead our club moving forward. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Stephen.”

The Guardians return one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, with the emergence of three rookie starters — Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen — to complement Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber, the latter of whom could be traded this winter. Cleveland’s offense remains something of a black hole, though Josh Naylor’s emergence alongside star third baseman Jose Ramirez, and the potential signing of a free agent outfielder could help in a wide-open AL Central.

Cleveland’s managerial search spanned a wide variety of candidates, including Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, Los Angeles Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough, Chicago Cubs bench coach Andy Green and San Francisco Giants bullpen coach Craig Albernaz.

First appeared on www.espn.com

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