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Guardians hire Stephen Vogt as new manager after Terry Francona steps away

Stephen Vogt will manage the Guardians in 2024. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)
Stephen Vogt will manage the Guardians in 2024. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)

The Cleveland Guardians didn't wait long to replace longtime manager Terry Francona. The team tabbed former catcher Stephen Vogt as its next manager Monday.

Vogt, 39, hasn't been away for the game long. He spent the 2023 MLB season as the bullpen and quality control coach with the Seattle Mariners. Prior to that, Vogt played 10 seasons in the majors. He spent the majority of his playing career with the Oakland Athletics and made two All-Star teams with the franchise.

Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said the team is comfortable with Vogt, despite the fact that he does not have experience as a manager, per MLB.com.

"Stephen has thought critically about the type of leader and manager he wants to be. His deep care for others, his ability to build meaningful relationships with those around him, and his open-mindedness and curiosity make him an ideal fit to lead our club moving forward. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Stephen."

Vogt will take over a Guardians team that went 76-86 during the 2023 MLB season. It was a disappointing result for the Guardians after the team won the American League Central in 2022.

The Guardians still have plenty of talent on their roster entering 2024. José Ramirez remains one of the best players in baseball, and Tanner Bibee looks like an excellent, young building block in the rotation.

The AL Central has been one of the weakest divisions in baseball in recent years. Barring a drastic change in philosophy from the other teams in the division, the Guardians can contend for an AL Central title in 2024 if Vogt proves to be a deft hire and the right players bounce back.