clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Miami Marlins considered hiring Jim Leyland

Miami considered Jim Leyland but ultimately opted to have Dan Jennings move into the dugout.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Leyland led the Marlins to a 1997 World Series title and for a moment, the club was confident he would be able to do it again.

Before the Marlins opted to have Dan Jennings move from the front office to the dugout, several internal options were considered. Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, and Mike Lowell were all mentioned as candidates to replace Mike Redmond, and according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the Marlins were open to re-hiring Leyland.

After Redmond was dismissed, Leyland and a handful of other external candidates were considered. But President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill told Jackson none of those candidates were favorites to land the job.

"Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, Ron Gardenhire -- all those guys were thought of but none of them were strongly considered," Marlins president/baseball operations Michael Hill told me.

"We were in season and wanted someone who was intimate with our roster and had a relationship with our players. We didn't feel anyone coming from the outside had those attributes. With in-season change, that was very important."

All of the managers Hill mentioned have a significant amount of notable baseball experience, which is notable because of Jennings' brief managerial resume. Jennings may be a placeholder until the Marlins are able to take the time to find a long-term clubhouse leader, however that may not come until the end of the season. Baker, Washington, and Gardenhire may not be as familiar with the organization, but Leyland's experience and success could have given him an advantage.

Although some feel his days as a major league manager are all but over, Leyland has not formally announced his retirement. After managing Miguel Cabrera in Detroit, he has the ability to create a consistent lineup around a power bat. Leyland was known for sometimes sticking with struggling players longer than other managers would, but such behavior could result in distinct respect from players. If the Marlins lacked "fire," as Giancarlo Stanton explained in April, perhaps Leyland's style would have resulted in hope and confidence.

More often than not, catchers have an advantage because of their experience calling games. Leyland has catching experience and ranks 14th all-time in games managed and 15th all-time in wins. He finished first or second in his division 11 times and has a notable amount of playoff experience, which some of the Marlins' previous managers have lacked.

Despite the fact he was not mentioned as a candidate, Bobby Valentine may have also been considered. The organization has been linked to him in the past although he may not have the desire to return to the dugout.

Jennings could finish the season as the Marlins' manager but the club could explore other options moving forward. Leyland may be among them considering he guided them to a title and has experience managing young teams.