Giants hiring former Red Sox catcher as new manager, but not Jason Varitek

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The San Francisco Giants are filling their managerial vacancy by replacing one former Red Sox player with another.

After firing Gabe Kapler with three games left in the regular season, Bob Melvin will leave San Diego for San Francisco. The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly broke the news on Tuesday afternoon, two days after the outlet reported the Padres had granted the Giants permission to interview Melvin, who had one year remaining on his contract.

Melvin, who turns 62 this week, only managed in San Diego for two seasons, but his departure isn’t exactly a surprise. Increasing tensions between him and general manager A.J. Preller made headlines throughout the 2023 season; that the Padres were willing to let a National League West rival interview and hire their manager indicates a manager-GM relationship eroded to the point of no return. Preller will now search for his seventh Padres manager in nine years.

It’s also a homecoming for the three-time Manager of the Year, who grew up in the Bay Area and managed the Oakland A’s from 2011-21. In 20 seasons as a Major League manager, Melvin has a 1,517-1,425 record, with eight trips to the postseason.

Melvin, who caught for the 1993 Red Sox during his 11-year playing career, wasn’t the only former Red Sox catcher interviewed for the Giants gig. The year Melvin played in Boston, the Minnesota Twins drafted a star catcher who opted to finish college and re-enter the draft in 1994. The Seattle Mariners made an identical selection in 1994, and in 1997, traded a young Jason Varitek to Boston.

Varitek has been on the managerial track for most of the last decade, with the Mariners interviewing him in 2015. The longtime Red Sox captain is a year into a three-year contract extension as a member of the coaching staff, but the club granted the Giants permission to speak with him, which they did by phone last Friday.

“He will manage in the big leagues,” Alex Cora told reporters in February 2021, after Varitek became a full-time member of the coaching staff. “I think, with time, somebody’s going to give him a chance and he’s going to kill it, he’s going to be great.”


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