Giants select ousted Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to succeed Bruce Bochy

Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have found Bruce Bochy's successor.

The club agreed to terms with former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who is set to become the team's next manager. The announcement comes one day after the team introduced new general manager Scott Harris at a press conference at Oracle Park.

Kapler emerged from a pool of at least nine candidates and was one of three who received at least two interviews for the chance to hold a job last manned by Bochy, a three-time World Series champion. The other finalists were current Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro.

Kapler spent the last two years managing the Phillies, posting a 161-163 record over two seasons. The Phillies fired Kapler in the days following the 2019 season after the team failed to live up to owner John Middleton's expectations.

Kapler, 44, spent parts of 12 seasons in the major leagues as a player, appearing for six different organizations and winning a World Series in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox. Prior to being hired in Philadelphia, Kapler worked under Giants' president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi as the Dodgers' director of player development.

During his time in Los Angeles, Kapler reportedly mishandled sexual assault allegations against Dodgers minor league players, opting to try and deal with matters without involving proper authorities. Throughout the Giants' hiring process, Kapler's involvement in handling sexual assault allegations was discussed in-depth and there were some members of the organization who preferred the team choose a different candidate.

Espada emerged as the primary challenger for the job and had many fans in the organization, but Kapler's relationship with Zaidi and prior experience managing in the majors likely put him over the top.

The search to find Bochy's replacement began immediately following the regular season when Zaidi announced the Giants would interview two internal candidates, bench coach Hensley Meulens and third base coach Ron Wotus.


Neither Meulens nor Wotus advanced past the first round of interviews and after Meulens left to accept a job on the Marlins' coaching staff, it's unclear whether Wotus will remain with the organization in 2020. Zaidi said coaches were told a new manager would have the chance to hire his own staff and it's unclear whether any of Bochy's coaches have interest in returning next season.

Kapler is the only the fifth person to hold the title of San Francisco Giants manager since 1985. Prior to Bochy, Felipe Alou, Dusty Baker and Roger Craig all took turns leading the franchise. Bochy's tenure was the longest, as it lasted 13 seasons from 2007-2019.

After winning three World Series this decade and advancing to the postseason four times, the Giants finished each of the last three seasons with losing records. San Francisco improved to 77-85 in 2019 and secured nearly half of their wins in one-run decisions, finishing 38-16 in such games.

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