Now that the new year is upon us, it could also conceivably be the last year for several managers or lead front office executives (i.e. president of baseball operations, general manager, chief baseball officer, or whatever title a club bestows upon its top baseball decision-maker) in their current jobs if their teams don’t enjoy some success in 2022. With this in mind, here is the list of team personnel facing particular pressure — the managers and top execs who are entering the last guaranteed year of their contracts.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Firstly, some clubs don’t publicly disclose specifics of management contracts, or even whether or not an employee has signed an extension until weeks or months after the fact. It could be that some of the names mentioned are already locked up beyond 2022, or perhaps have already signed extensions in the last few weeks that won’t be made official until after the lockout. While transactions involving Major League players are prohibited during the lockout, teams are free to proceed with normal business involving team personnel, so some club might look to handle other internal matters in advance of the transactional avalanche that will come when the lockout finally ends.
Second of all, any number of factors beyond just contract status can influence an employee’s job status, and sometimes on-field success isn’t enough (just ask former Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt). However, extra years on a contract is usually the simplest way to gauge just how much leeway a manager or front office boss has, barring something unforeseen. It’s probably safe to assume that most or all of the names listed wouldn’t mind a little extra job security, if for no other reason than to avoid a season of media questions about their future, or the perception of any “lame duck” status from their own players or staff.
Thanks to Cot’s Baseball Contracts for reference information on some of these contracts. Onto the list…