Ranking MLB hot seats: Five managers who could be next to go after Rangers fire Chris Woodward

The Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward on Monday, ending his tenure after more than three seasons at the helm. Woodward has won just 42.4% of the games he has managed, and he had Rangers on schedule for 72 wins in 2022 – or, obviously, below their expectations after signing top free agents. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.

“Chris Young and I had the very difficult task of informing Chris Woodward of our decision today,” Rangers manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. “During his tenure as manager of the Rangers, Chris has worked tirelessly under sometimes difficult circumstances. He has been dedicated and passionate in his efforts to improve the Texas Rangers’ on-field performance, and that is much appreciated. He represented the organization with class and dignity.”

Woodward is the fourth manager to be fired this season, joining Joe Girardi (Philadelphia Phillies), Joe Maddon (Los Angeles Angels), and Charlie Montoyo (Toronto Blue Jays). Taking the blame – and, sometimes, the boot – when things go wrong is part of the unspoken agreement individuals make when they agree to manage. While no one likes to see someone lose their job, it’s inevitable in a results-driven company that declares one team – and only one – champions every fall.

With that in mind, CBS Sports has to ask itself: Who’s next? Below, we’ve identified and ranked five managers who seem to have hotter seats than their counterparts. As always, please note that this is more of an art than a science, and we are not stating that these managers should or will be laid off in the coming weeks; simply that they seem to be more at risk of falling victim to the same fate as Woodward.

The inclusion of La Russa is a given. The White Sox have underperformed all year despite playing in a weak division, and he made one of the most insane strategic decisions of the season in June, when he intentionally walked a batter on a 1-2 count. La Russa has only one year left on his contract, which makes it easier to justify a divorce. The catch is that while La Russa only has one supporter in his corner, it just happens to be the only person who can keep him, owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Even acknowledging that reality, it’s hard to justify ranking it lower on this list.

We’ll stay in the American League Central to highlight Matheny, who is nearing the end of his third season in charge. The Royals have graduated many of their best young players to the majors this season, but are on course to post their worst winning percentage since 2019 – or the year before Matheny took over. Take into account that Matheny only has one season left on his contract (the Royals exercised their club option on him in March) and it seems likely that a change will occur over the next 8-12 months, maybe even this winter.

The Nationals are expected to be sold this offseason, at which time it seems more likely than not that the new owners will choose to install their own general manager and field manager. The best-case scenario for Martinez, who guided the Nationals to the 2019 World Series title, is for the new owners to give him one season to prove he’s the right person for the job. We’re skeptical of his ability to do that, if only because the Nationals are only in the early stages of a full rebuild.

Mattingly has appeared on various “next manager fired” shortlists since taking over in the Marlins dugout ahead of the 2016 season. He’s somehow survived this long despite only one game-winning effort in six tries (and seven ), but his luck will have It’s worth noting that the Marlins exercised their club option for next season in July, suggesting they could be okay with kicking a bit further before having to make a last call on his status.

It’s not fun being the manager of a team in the midst of reconstruction. Individuals like Shelton take jobs like the Pirates not because they expect to go all the way, but because they want to gain experience for their future management gigs. Perhaps Shelton will prove to be the exception; with a guaranteed year remaining on his contract, we’re not willing to bet that’s the case.

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