Ranking the Giants’ top candidates to replace Gabe Kapler

The Giants have parted ways with manager Gabe Kapler, and it only took about six seconds for a two names to pop up as potential replacements on social media. Both of them made a lot of sense, too.  

The decision belongs to Farhan Zaidi, the team’s president of baseball operations. Truth is, though, it’s not the biggest change the Giants hope to make this offseason. The Giants tried hard to land a superstar last offseason, coming close with Aaron Judge and then coming close but failing to finalize a deal with shortstop Carlos Correa. 

Right at the top of the club’s wish list? Yep, Shohei Ohtani.

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Clearly they’re not alone. But the Giants have the money to make it happen, and getting the right manager in place is part of the luring-him-to-San Francisco equation. Same goes for all the other free-agents on the market. The Giants have needs in the rotation, and Kapler’s handling of the starters was often criticized, by players and fans. There are several good starters on the market this offseason. 

So without further ado, let’s look at, the two obvious names plus one other, too. 

Buster Posey, retired Giants star

Why he fits: Boy, would the fan base love this hire. Posey is beloved in the community, and with good reason. As the team’s catcher and captain, he was the heart and soul of all three of the Giants’ World Series victories in the 2010s, and his retirement as a player was a big reason the team never came close to recapturing that 2021 magic. But he retired, in part, to spend more time with his family, and that was only two years ago. Does he want to get back to the every day grind so soon? He’s only 36 now. Feels like way too soon. But, who knows? Someone as intensely competitive as Posey might be itching to get back in the mix.

One area where Posey would figure to help, too? He was the kind of teammate every player wanted, and figures that holds true if he was the manager, too. Heck of a free-agent draw. 

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Bob Melvin, Padres manager

Why he fits: It’s no secret that Melvin’s time in San Diego has soured, as his relationship with front office guru A.J. Preller is at least pushing the point of no return. So maybe this opening is a way for the Padres and Melvin to save face just a bit. Melvin’s from the Bay Area, played three seasons for the Giants, and it doesn’t take a big leap in logic to think he’d be happier with the Giants than he is with San Diego. And, based on reporting, it seems the Padres would be OK with that, too. Melvin also has the connection with Zaidi; he was in the front office with the A’s from 2011-14, when Melvin was the manager. Allowing Melvin to “go home” might be a really good solution for two teams. 

Stephen Vogt, Seattle bullpen coach

Why he fits: This name might be a bit of a surprise, but it was floated by Susan Slusser, the outstanding reporter who was first to report Kapler was out. Vogt was always seen as a future manager during his time as a catcher in the bigs, and few players were as big of a positive influence in the clubhouse. This seems soon, maybe? Vogt played one year with the Giants, but six seasons with the A’s across the Bay. In his interviews after the firing on Friday, Zaidi talked about changing the clubhouse culture, and Vogt would accomplish that. 

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