Jocketty: Search for new manager to begin soon
Reds' in-house candidates include pitching coach Price, Louisville skipper Riggleman
CINCINNATI -- With the decision made to dismiss Dusty Baker after six years as manager, the Reds hope to move quickly to find his replacement.
The search will be led by general manager Walt Jocketty, with the final decision ultimately being made by chief executive officer Bob Castellini.
"We'll probably start assembling the list next week," Jocketty said. "I'd like to try and get it over with sooner than later. I'm sure we will be very thorough and put the right list together and hire the right person."
Two immediate candidates are already within the organization, in pitching coach Bryan Price and former big league skipper Jim Riggleman, who managed this season at Triple-A Louisville.
"They'll be on the list to talk to," Jocketty confirmed.
Price, 51, joined the Reds after the 2009 season to replace dismissed pitching coach Dick Pole.
The Reds' pitching staff had the fourth-best ERA in the Major Leagues this season and the most strikeouts in the National League. Price has also earned the respect of his pitchers for his work ethic, holding people accountable and an ability to relate to everyone.
"His reputation precedes him," said Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, who will be a free agent this winter. "I think he'd do a hell of a job. He's as organized and punctual as anybody I've ever seen in this game."
For the previous 10 seasons, Price was the pitching coach for the Mariners, first under Lou Piniella and then under Bob Melvin. He also was on Melvin's staff for the D-backs from 2006-09, but he resigned in May 2009 to remain loyal to his manager after Melvin was dismissed.
Riggleman, 60, completed his second year in the Reds' organization, and first managing at Louisville. In 2012, he was the skipper at Double-A Pensacola, a second chance given to him by Jocketty after Riggleman had a tumultuous exit from the Major League level.
In the midst of the 2011 season with the Nationals, Riggleman abruptly resigned in a contract dispute.
In 12 seasons with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals, Riggleman had a 662-824 record.
Until leaving to be the Cubs third-base coach last year under Dale Sveum, David Bell was a rising star in the Reds organization and preceded Riggleman as Louisville's manager. With Sveum having been relieved of his duties earlier this week, Bell is also available.
Outside the organization, any potential candidate list could be lengthy. One person who it doesn't include is someone with ties to Jocketty and Castellini -- Tony La Russa, who turned 69 years old on Friday.
"Tony, probably not, because I don't think he wants to manage anymore," Jocketty said.
Cardinals longtime third-base coach Jose Oquendo is often mentioned as a potential future manager. Oquendo was passed over when St. Louis hired Mike Matheny two years ago to replace the retired La Russa. Jocketty is the former GM of the Cardinals, and Castellini previously had a minority ownership stake.
"Oquendo, I can't say right now. I can't comment on him because he's under contract," Jocketty said.
Former Major League catcher Brad Ausmus was a runner-up for the Red Sox job a year ago that went to John Farrell. Ausmus is currently a special assistant to the GM for the Padres. San Diego's assistant GM, A.J. Hinch, a former skipper in Arizona, is also looking to manage again. Other Major League coaches who are often in the mix for managerial openings include Dave Martinez from the Rays, Torey Lovullo of the Red Sox, Tim Wallach from the Dodgers and Lloyd McClendon of the Tigers. McClendon, a former Pirates manager, once played for the Reds.
Jocketty hasn't specified the type of manager he is looking for.
"I think that's something we'll formulate," he said. "I will meet with my staff and Bob and put together a criteria for what the next manager should be like and the qualities we're looking for. Obviously, we're looking for somebody to lead this group, a talented group. I don't want to get into specifics now. It wouldn't be proper."