On Tuesday afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds announced longtime pitching coach Bryan Price as the team’s new manager, inking him to a three-year deal as the front office seeks a deep playoff run – something that former manager Dusty Baker was unable to deliver in his time at the helm.
The Reds chose to promote from within after a three-hour interview with Price, in which he wowed ownership and the front office. Owner Bob Castellini had nothing but praise for Price, according to an ESPN report.
“Bryan is exceptional,” owner Bob Castellini said. “We’ve been fortunate to be with him long enough to know how exceptional he is.”
Baker, a former Cubs’ manager, led Cincinnati to three 90-win seasons and three playoff appearances in the last four seasons, but after another first-round exit from the playoffs, Reds’ higher-ups decided it was time for a change.
In his time with the Reds, Baker compiled a 509-463 (.524) record, but was never able to guide what ownership considered to be a World Series-caliber team deep into the postseason.
Price has helped develop the Reds’ pitching staff into one of the National League’s best, after replacing former pitching coack Dick Pole. Previously, he had worked in the Seattle Mariners‘ farm system, also serving as the big league club’s pitching coach for five years, from 2000-2005. He also served as the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ pitching coach from 2006-2009, stepping down after Bob Melvin was dismissed.
The hiring of Price lowers the number of teams with managerial openings to four; the Cubs, Tigers, Nationals and Mariners. There is also the potential for the Dodgers’ job to open up after an apparent rift between the Los Angeles front office and manager Don Mattingly surfaced at a recent press conference.
The Cubs’ top candidates are reportedly Tampa Bay bench coach Dave Martinez and San Diego bench coach Rick Renteria. Chicago is also reportedly interested in speaking with Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, as well.