Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings was named as the club's manager on Monday, a day after Mike Redmond was fired. Originally reported by CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com early Monday morning, the Marlins announced the move in a press conference and confirmed that he will be managing the team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Assistant GM Mike Berger will take over as the club's GM. Mike Goff, an advanced scout, will serve as the bench coach. Goff was previously a bench coach for the Mariners from 2005 to 2007.
"I'm extremely honored that (owner) Jeffrey Loria, (team president) David Samson, and (president of baseball operations) Michael Hill have showed this type of trust and faith in me to put me in this position," Jennings said. "It's an honor and certainly a privilege to be able to lead this team that I had a hand in putting together. I'm looking forward to addressing this group of men, this staff, and moving down the road towards the ultimate goal, and that's to play in October."
Jennings helped orchestrate the mega-deal of Giancarlo Stanton, but the team started the 2015 season with a 16-22 record. During the announcement, Jennings admitted even his own mother asked if he had lost his mind in taking the position, and Jennings admitted the move was out of the ordinary.
Jennings, who has been with the Marlins since 2002 and took over the position of GM in 2013, has no managing experience at the major league level. He now becomes the eighth manager in the last 12 years for the Marlins under the ownership of Loria. Even for the Marlins this is a surprise, but Hill said during the press conference that the team didn't want "someone from outside."
"You don't change managers, you don't go into that decision, lightly," Hill said. "This was a long process in our minds, because it is major, it is out of the box. And if we didn't feel like we had the right person with the right skill set to motivate and spark this club, we wouldn't have made the change. ... We wanted someone who knew our players."
Samson said that Jennings was the only candidate considered for the position, while stating the team complied with the "Selig Rule." The "Selig Rule" requires that a team at least consider minorities for all general manager, assistant general manager, field manager, director of player development and director of scouting positions. The exception is that teams are not required to consider outside or minority options as long as the team conveys its intentions to the MLB commissioner. According to the team, those requirements were met.
The Brewers made an internal move in naming Craig Counsell as their new manager. However, he was already serving as a special assistant to the general manager with 16 years of MLB playing experience. Jennings' only experience in managing is when he coached a high school baseball team before becoming an MLB scout in 1986.
When a team names a replacement, it's typically in the form of a former player and/or a special assistant, who either has previous managerial or coaching experience. Jennings acknowledged the uniqueness of the move by the team and said he expects to be judged by the results of the team just as any other manager would.
Jennings, Hill, and Samson were discussing options over a call when they came up with the idea for Jennings to replace Redmond, according to Hill. By appointing Jennings as the manager, the team also avoids paying a third former-manager the remainder of a contract. Samson said that if Jennings is unable to successfully fill the role, Jennings could slip back into the role of GM.
"It is outside the box, it's unconventional, there are so many words you can use to describe this move," Jennings remarked. "I will tell you that it takes courage from an owner and club president and a president of baseball operations to entrust this responsibility upon someone without any of those credentials that are important. There are a lot of managers that arrive in that chair via a different path. And we now have a new path that we can talk about for someone to sit in that seat."
Jennings is signed through the 2015 season, but there is no word yet on whether that applies to Jennings' managerial commitment.