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Reports: D-backs’ Gardenhire finalist for two managerial openings

Former Minnesota Twins manager and now an Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire visits with the media in the visitors' dugout prior to a baseball game between the two teams Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
LISTEN: Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO

Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire is a hot commodity as MLB teams begin searching for new managers.

Pioneer Press sports columnist Charley Walters reported that Gardenhire is one of the three final candidates the Boston Red Sox are considering for their next manager.

In addition, the Detroit News reported that Gardenhire is among the candidates the Tigers plan to interview.

Gardenhire, 59, completed his first season as the Diamondbacks bench coach in 2017. The former major league infielder spent the 2016 season in the Minnesota Twins organization as a special assistant to then-general manager Terry Ryan.

Earlier on Thursday, Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall confirmed that at least one team with a managerial vacancy has interest in Gardenhire.

“I mean this guy (Gardenhire) was a longtime manager in the American League and I know for sure one place he will be a candidate,” Hall told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

Before joining the Twins front office, Gardenhire was a member of the team’s coaching staff for 11 seasons from 1991 to 2001. In 2002, he took over as manager, and in 13 seasons, guided the Twins to six postseason appearances and finished his stint as the winningest manager in franchise history with 1,068 victories. The Twins won the AL Central in his first three seasons at the helm, which made Gardenhire the fourth manager in MLB history to begin his career with three straight first-place finishes.

Hall said he believes Gardenhire, who is one of only 10 managers in baseball history to win 1,000-plus games with a single team, will get strong consideration from a number of teams.

“I think for sure he will be a candidate for a few of the openings and maybe more,” Hall said. “Gardenhire is fantastic. I think he will have a good shot at one of the managerial jobs, and I think he is the right guy to pick out.”

The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets are all looking for a new skipper. Rumors surrounding Gardenhire seem to have connected him mostly to Boston. Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said he wants the team’s next manager to have experience in the dugout.

Boston Globe MLB insider Nick Cafardo was one of many to mention Gardenhire as a potential replacement for fired Red Sox manager John Farrell.

An old-school manager with great interpersonal skills. He can relate to young players and has a stern side to him. He battled through prostate cancer this season, but returned to help the team’s decision-making group under manager Torey Lovullo. A longtime Twins manager, Gardenhire was very successful there until a rebuild began in Minnesota and he was out.

When Gardenhire took a leave of absence from the D-backs to recover from prostate cancer surgery, Reno Aces manager Jerry Narron took over as interim bench coach. Narron stayed with the big league club as a coach when Gardenhire returned.

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