Dan Jennings probably will not be returning as Miami's GM. And at this point, he shouldn't.
At the end of the season, the Marlins' front office officials said they told Jennings he had the option of returning to the front office. It appeared he was set to return, but Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reported Sunday President David Samson told Jennings not to report to Marlins Park.
Since they informed Jennings he would not have the opportunity tho manage the club in 2016, the Marlins have been actively searching for their next manager. They said their search would be "extensive and exhaustive." To this point, Don Mattingly appears to be the front runner, with Phil Nevin, Manny Acta, Bo Porter and Larry Bowa reportedly being interviewed.
While the Marlins did quickly start to interview a handful of candidates, and also brought Bowa in for a second interview, one common theme has been made clear of late: Jennings was not present for any of the meetings.
When Jennings agreed to take over as manager and replace Mike Redmond, he might not have seen the move as one that would result in a decrease of power within the organization. But that appears to be exactly what happened.
Assistant GM Mike Berger and Assistant Jeff McAvoy have gained power. The Marlins have made multiple moves in an attempt to reshape their front office. Jennings is not likely to be at the top any more. As a result, there might not be a reason for him to return to Miami in 2016.
Mattingly reportedly interviewed for the opening Monday, and Owner Jeffrey Loria is thought to be notably fond of the former Dodgers manager. But if Jennings was not present for the meeting with Mattingly, who barring an unforeseen conflict remains the favorite and could be hired in the coming days, who beyond Loria had the authority in the room?
Loria is known to be involved with major club decisions. That is nothing new. But the fact he did not request Jennings attend the meeting is telling. Regardless of what anybody else believes, Loria could still hire Mattingly. And perhaps Jennings is not fond of him.
However, there is no reason for Jennings not to be involved with this process. Maybe the Marlins gave him the opportunity to return as an act of courtesy. Jennings could still return as GM. But if he is not involved in this big of a club decision, what would he gain by returning?