Yankees: 3 dream manager candidates after Aaron Boone gets fired

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Manager Kevin Cash #16 (right) of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on with Matt Quatraro #33 (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

2. Matt Quatraro

In our expert opinion, it is good to steal from the Tampa Bay Rays whenever possible. Their machine may seem dull, but it also works. Without Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Willy Adames and Diego Castillo for much, if not all, of the 2021 season, they’ve managed to piece together an elite rotation and bullpen.

Some fans might not realize it because they’ve stereotyped the old Rays, but this team also does what the Yankees want to do offensively. They strike out. They hit tons and tons of home runs. They’re relentless. They promote their top prospects, like Wander Franco, when it might help. They strike while the iron’s hot and add Nelson Cruz, even when it elicits a collective, “What?”

You may hate the Red Sox and Chaim Bloom, but he’s going to cross 90 wins this season with a team largely viewed as “bad.” He knows things. So does the rest of the Rays front office. So does their coaching staff.

Spending time as the Tampa Bay Rays bench coach means you’ve experienced an invaluable series of lessons under Kevin Cash, the likely best manager in Major League Baseball (though if he’d pulled that Blake Snell stunt with the Yanks, he would’ve been tarred and feathered). Bench coach Matt Quatraro has been in the thick of the AL East by Cash’s side since 2017, the third base coach for one year before he replaced Jays manager Charlie Montoyo on the pine.

The other argument in Quatraro’s favor? The San Francisco Giants, prior to hiring Gabe Kapler, considered him to be a finalist for their managerial job. Considering they’ve become the gold standard for mining talent out of unexpected sources over the past two years, that’s a formula we can get behind, too.