Former catcher Stephen Vogt named next Guardians skipper

November 6th, 2023

CLEVELAND -- The search is over.

The Guardians announced on Monday that former catcher has been named the 45th manager in franchise history. Sources told that Vogt received a three-year deal, which the club has not confirmed.

Throughout a rigorous interview process that also included candidates like Brewers manager Craig Counsell, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza and Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough, the Guardians were looking for a person who shared the same values that the organization has already established, while also bringing in a new perspective that challenges this group to think about things a little differently.

Despite the list of more than 40 names that the Guardians believed could fill these desires, it was Vogt who stood out among the rest.

"We're thrilled to welcome Stephen and his family to Northeast Ohio and to name him the next manager of the Cleveland Guardians," said Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti. "Stephen earned a reputation as one of the best teammates in the game across his 16-year career as a player, and we've greatly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him over the past several weeks.

"Stephen has thought critically about the type of leader and manager he wants to be. His deep care for others, his ability to build meaningful relationships with those around him, and his open-mindedness and curiosity make him an ideal fit to lead our club moving forward. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Stephen."

Former manager Terry Francona left with big shoes to fill. He won the most games by a skipper in franchise history (921) and was the team’s longest-tenured manager. After 11 seasons with someone like Francona, who came to Cleveland with eight years of big league managerial experience and two World Series rings under his belt, the Guardians are now turning to someone in a much different position.

The 39-year-old Vogt ended his playing career after the 2022 season. At that time, he already knew he wanted to be a big league manager one day; he just didn’t know what the journey would look like. He spent the 2023 season as the bullpen and quality control coach with the Mariners and when multiple managerial openings popped up across Major League Baseball, he threw his name into as many hats as he could.

Vogt was beloved by every coaching staff he played for. He spent six seasons with the A’s, two with the D-backs and one apiece with the Rays, Giants, Braves and Brewers over his 10-year big league career. The former catcher has an excellent baseball IQ, and as a player, he was a leader in every clubhouse he stepped into. Like Francona, Vogt is known to rely on his sense of humor to connect with players of all ages. And for a young group like Cleveland, this approach may prove to be a perfect fit.