- Buck Showalter, Orioles
- John Gibbons, Blue Jays
- Kevin Cash, Rays
- Alex Cora, Red Sox
- Aaron Boone, Yankees
Although the Orioles fell apart by going 7-20 last September — a rarity under Showalter — there’s no doubt he’s the most accomplished manager in the division. He has a 622-569 record and three postseason appearances since taking the helm in 2010, and he continually squeezes more wins out of his roster than the prognosticators predict. He’s entering the final year of his contract, but if he wants to return after 2018, the Orioles will happily oblige.
For all the pace-of-play rule changes that MLB has installed the last few years, somehow they’ve left out, “John Gibbons must start walking to the mound faster than a blind tortoise stuck in molasses.” Gibbons is a polarizing figure even beyond his dawdling mound visits, but he has a winning record in his 10-year career in Toronto (720-700 in two stints), which gives him the edge over the Rays’ Cash (228-258 in three seasons).
The Yankees and Red Sox raised eyebrows this offseason by parting ways with their veteran managers, Joe Girardi and John Farrell, respectively, and replacing them with rookie skippers. Cora, at least, has experience as a bench coach for the 2017 World Series champion Houston Astros and has managed winter ball in Puerto Rico. Boone, on the other hand, has never managed or coached anywhere, and was plucked out of the ESPN broadcast booth. There could be growing pains for both in 2018.
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