The Guardians have interviewed Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough as they search for a new manager, reports Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. He joins Giants bullpen/catching coach Craig Albernaz and Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as known candidates to meet with Cleveland brass.
McCullough, 44 in December, has never managed at the major league level. He has seven years of managerial experience in the minors, however, working at the lower levels of the Blue Jays’ system between 2007-13. He signed with Los Angeles as a minor league field coordinator in 2015. The Dodgers added him to Dave Roberts’ staff at the start of the 2021 season.
Before his coaching days, McCullough spent some time in the Cleveland organization. An East Carolina product, he was selected by the Indians in the 22nd round of the 2002 draft as a catcher. He played 104 games over parts of four minor league seasons.
This isn’t the first time McCullough has drawn attention in a major league managerial search. He interviewed with the Mets during the 2021-22 offseason for the position that eventually went to Buck Showalter. McCullough was reportedly a finalist in the Royals’ hiring process last winter. Kansas City ultimately tabbed Matt Quatraro off the Rays’ coaching staff.
Cleveland is embarking on a managerial search for the first time in over a decade after Terry Francona stepped aside. While the three known interviewees are all from outside the organization, Hoynes lists a few internal candidates under consideration. The front office has considered minor league field coordinator John McDonald, hitting coach Chris Valaika, and player development director Rob Cerfolio as potential candidates, although it’s unclear which of that group will receive a formal interview. First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. has already taken himself out of the running; according to Hoynes, third base coach Mike Sarbaugh has not been asked to interview.