The Cleveland Guardians are hiring former big-league catcher Stephen Vogt as their new manager, the team announced Monday. Vogt succeeds Terry Francona, who retired at season's end after helming the Guardians for 11 years.
Vogt, 39 as of Nov. 1, will become the majors' second-youngest manager, behind only Oli Marmol of the St. Louis Cardinals. He played in parts of 10 big-league seasons before retiring after the 2022 campaign. He hit .239/.301/.406 (93 OPS+) and amassed 7.1 Wins Above Replacement while suiting up for six different teams. Vogt even made the 2015-16 All-Star teams, with both appearances coming as part of the Oakland Athletics organization.
"I really love being a coach," Vogt told the San Francisco Chronicle last May. "I love being around the game, I love just being available for people. It hasn't been all that difficult a transition. Being a backup catcher your last few years, you have that player-coach kind of mentality. Now I just don't have to face major-league pitching anymore, and I'm really excited about that. But the transition has been very, very smooth."
Francona amassed a 54.9% winning percentage as Guardians manager. He led Cleveland to six playoff berths in 11 tries, and even won the 2016 American League Pennant. (The Guardians lost to the Chicago Cubs that fall.) Francona's managerial career also included stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. He had endured several medical issues in recent years that made managing more difficult.
The Guardians won only 76 games in 2023, their fewest since the 2012 campaign. Coincidentally, that was the year before Francona took over.