As their season has now come to a close, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves will start interviewing outside candidates for the managerial opening, beginning with experienced skippers Ron Washington and Bud Black.
The opening itself was created back in May, when the Braves fired former manager Fredi González after a 9-28 start to the 2016 campaign. To fill the void, third base coach Brian Snitker served as interim manager for the remainder of the Braves' forgettable 68-93 season.
Other internal candidates have also been interviewed for the position, but Braves president of baseball operations John Hart has acknowledged that it'd be difficult for an internal hire to not be Snitker. Although the Braves are seeking other candidates after Snitker led the Braves to a 31-25 record in the final two months of the 2016 season, he still fully supports his organization's approach.
"If I was them, I'd be doing the same thing," he told Bowman. "You never know. Somebody might come in here and blow them away with something they've never thought of before. If that is going to make this club and this organization better, then heck, I'm all for it."
Ron Washington was the manager of the Texas Rangers from 2007-2014, in which he led the team to four straight seasons of 90+ wins from 2010-2013, a streak which included two American League pennants. With a month to go in the 2014 season, he announced his resignation as manager of the team in order to reconcile with his family after having an extramarital affair. After sorting out his personal issues, he accepted a position as third base coach for the Oakland Athletics in 2015, a position which he still currently holds. He has a career managerial record of 664–611.
Bud Black was the manager of the San Diego Padres from 2007 until his abrupt firing in June of 2015, after a 32-33 start which had them six games back in the National League West. Black was initially pegged to be the Nationals manager after the firing of Matt Williams, but turned down the club's offer which he deemed to be too low. He currently holds a front office position with the Los Angeles Angels, where he was a coach from 2000-2006. He has a career managerial record of 649-713.
Whoever the Braves hire to be their manager for the 2017 campaign, the hope would be to give the team their first winning season since 2013. But after two consecutive seasons of less than 70 wins, that might be set the bar too high for any manager to hurdle.