MLB manager roundup: Wedge interested in Tigers, Ripken, more

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Two veteran managers have shown interest in the newly open Tigers position, but teams may not be looking as closely at high-profile candidates.

Wedge interested in Tigers' job

Former major league manager Eric Wedge said Monday he would "love the opportunity" to be the next Tigers' skipper, reports the Detroit Free Press. Another former manager, Dusty Baker, also said he would be interested in the job.

The Tigers are expected to take their time as they look for someone new to head their team on the field. Management is having conversations on what kind of candidate they are looking for and names that might be a good fit for Detroit moving forward.

If they choose to look for an experience manager, both Wedge and Baker could be on their radar. Wedge managed the Cleveland Indians for seven years up through a 65-97 finish in 2009. He then took a year off before taking on the same job with the Mariners. After three below-average years, he unexpectedly resigned from the position last month citing philosophical differences with the front office. Baker has managed 20 years in the MLB, but was fired by the Reds after a Wild Card loss to the Pirates.

The Cubs, Reds and Nationals are all rumored to have shown at least some interest in hiring Wedge.

Ripken unlikely for Nationals

Despite rumors that Cal Ripken, Jr. may be looking to get back into baseball as a manager, it appears "unrealistic" that he will be a candidate for the Nationals, reports the Washington Post.

Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth started speculation after saying Ripken would be his top candidate for the job. Ripken was coy about any interest in the position during interviews, saying he had been feeling an itch and may be willing to take on a job in the future. The Nationals, meanwhile, have not shown solid interest in Ripken as a candidate.

Washington reportedly is close to naming a candidate and could do so following the conclusion of the World Series.

Teams moving away from high-profile candidates

There has been a developing trend in baseball to move away from high profile candidates for manager positions, reports Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. The 2013 season may be a key factor in this change.

Both managers in the World Series this year--the Red Sox's John Farrell and the Cardinals' Mike Matheny--were low-key hirings prior to the season. Matheny is a rookie manager, having taken the job after Tony La Russa retired.

Farrell managed for two years in Toronto before an offseason trade allowed him to sign in Boston. Just a year earlier, the team went for a big name as manager when they brought in Bobby Valentine. He lasted just a year and gave the Red Sox a last place finish in the AL East.

This offseason, the Reds signed Bryan Price to be their manager after firing Dusty Baker. Price had no previous managerial experience, having been a pitching coach for the past 13 years. He had been with the Reds since 2009 and beat out established major league manager Jim Riggleman for the job.

The Nationals also seem poised to go with an under-the-radar signing. Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams has been rumored to be the frontrunner in Washington.

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