4. Raul Ibanez, Joey Cora, or Dave Valle
So, I am technically cheating by adding 3 names here, but anytime you talk about managers, it doesn’t take long for people to either demand to re-hire Lou Piniella or a recently retired player like Ichiro. Well, unlike those two options, the 3 names above actually make some sense.
We know that Joey Cora has been considered for managerial positions in the past. The former Mariners second baseman and current Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach, Cora has interviewed for the Brewers job and way back in 2008, Cora interviewed for the Mariners job.
Cora is well established in coaching circles and has served as a bench coach and infield coach, as well as manager of the Double-A Altoona Curve. He has the experience and resumes for a job, he just needs somebody to take a chance on him.
Valle, the former Mariners catcher, and broadcaster, now works for MLB Network and has managerial experience under his belt, albeit as the Evertt Aqua Sox manager. He is smart, insightful, and understands where the current game is at.
Ibanez may be the most interesting name. Smart, hard-working, well respected, this former Mariners outfielder is considered to be a future manager by many in the industry. He is personable and easy to get along with. Ibanez has no managerial experience, but that isn’t the death blow it was 20-years ago. Ibanez was asked to interview for the Yankees job 2 years ago, and withdrew his name from consideration to replace Joe Maddon in Tampa in 2014.
If Ibanez is ready to return to the dugout, Seattle should try to get him on the staff regardless of the position. But if the managerial seat is open, Ibanez would be a great fit.