The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to look into the Cleveland Indians organization to find their next manager as former Indians manager Eric Wedge is believed to be at the top of GM Neal Huntington’s wish list.
However, the Pirates face tough competition in just trying to lure Wedge to the interview table. Wedge has interviewed with the Chicago Cubs twice and is expected to interview with the Toronto Blue Jays next week.
Wedge was the first manager to interview with the Cubs and is still regarded as a top candidate for the job. Toronto is just begining their managerial process and reportedly Wedge was one of the first candidates they contacted.
Wedge and Huntington have close ties together dating back to their days with the Indians organization.
Wedge is believed to be seeking a salary of $2.5 million per season and won’t be a “Yes” man that Russell was. Wedge would likely want full control over lineup decisions and have some kind of authority on personnel decisions.
Wedge managed in the Indians’ minor league system from 1998 through 2002, and was named manager of the Indians in October 2002 at age 35.
In seven seasons as the manager of the Indians, Wedge posted a 561-573 record, leading the Indians to three winning seasons, including two 90+ win seasons.
In 2007, Wedge led the Indians to a 96–66 record, winning the Central Division Title for the first time since 2001. In the playoffs, Cleveland came just within one game of reaching the World Series.
Cleveland beat the Yankees in four games to win the ALDS, and moved on to play the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, where they lost in 7 games after leading 3 games to 1.
Wedge was named MLB Manager of the Year for the American League in 2007.