While the baseball world continues to wait for the Philadelphia Phillies’ decision on the future of manager Gabe Kapler, it looks like the organization is already searching for his replacement.
Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported on Tuesday morning that the Phillies and veteran manager Buck Showalter “have mutual interest,” in joining forces in 2020.
Kapler, though, hasn’t been fired yet.
Or has he?
As NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra alluded to, welcome to Major League Baseball’s version of Shrodinger’s cat.
Phillies owner John Middleton has been mulling over Kapler’s future with the club since the team’s season ended over a week ago.
With high expectations in 2019, the Phillies went a disappointing 81-81 and missed the playoffs for the eighth-straight season.
It was a one-game increase in wins compared to Kapler’s first season with the Phillies in 2018. But this year’s edition picked up some pretty sizable upgrades in the forms of Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and JT Realmuto, among others.
Kapler’s decision-making throughout his tenure in Philadelphia has suggested that the Phillies need a veteran presence in the dugout to help lead the team to playoff contention in the future.
Showalter has plenty of connections with the Phillies. Team president Andy MacPhail hired Showalter as the manager of the Orioles back in 2010.
General manager Matt Klentak and assistant general manager Ned Rice also worked alongside Showalter in Baltimore.
And while Gelb noted that Showalter might not be the first choice if the Phillies do fire Kapler, he has the track record to satisfy that need.
The 63-year-old has coached for parts of 20 seasons in the majors with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles.
He was dismissed from both the Yankees and Diamondbacks one year before the teams won World Series titles in 1996 and 2001.
Showalter is close to a .500 manager with a 1,551-1,517 career record and has made the playoffs just five teams during his long career.
However, he was at the helm of a rebuilding Yankees team and three small-market franchises.
The Phillies would provide Showalter with one of the most talented rosters he’s ever had.
Of course, this is all hypothetically speaking as we’ve yet to hear any word on whether or not Kapler is on his way out of Philadelphia.