Tony Mansolino - Orioles Third Base Coach
It's weird to be looking at any coach from the Baltimore Orioles given how bad they were for such a long time, but here we are. While Mansolino doesn't have the most major league experience when it comes to being a coach, his dad was a big league coach with several teams and he has extensive experience as a manager in the minor leagues. That sort of experience in player development is really, really helpful, especially for a team like the Dodgers that's going to have a bit of a youth movement in the coming years.
The issue with a guy like Mansolino is that if the Dodgers are going to move on from an established, known quantity like Roberts, they're probably going to want to be more risk-averse with his replacement. An experienced big league coach is likely to have the upper hand, especially if they come from an organization with a track record of winning.
Don’t get us wrong: the Orioles are a really, really fun story this year and could end up being awesome for a long time. However, the Dodgers are right in the middle of their competitive window and may want someone more established. Those sorts of guys are in short supply, though, and Mansolino seems like a guy whose star is on the rise. Plus, that "we need a guy who has been there before" thinking is how Tony LaRussa ended up managing the White Sox, and LA definitely doesn't want a situation like that.
Rodney Linares - Rays Bench Coach
It isn’t a managerial candidates list without mentioning someone with the Tampa Bay Rays, so Rodney Linares gets the nod here among the several available and viable options.
Linares has extensive (and successful) experience as a minor league manager with the Astros before joining the Rays as their third base coach after the 2018 season. He would later go on to get promoted to being the Rays' bench coach for this season after Matt Quatraro got hired to manage the Royals.
Coming from two of the better data-forward teams in baseball has a lot of benefits, and one of the biggest is that those teams know how to use data effectively in actual game-planning. Baseball is still played on the field and that means players need to have information taken and turned into a form they understand, believe in, and can execute. Not having a ton of experience dealing with larger media markets like LA is a downside, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
Linares is only 45 years old, but still has a ton of experience helping players young and old get with the program, develop, and improve. Having long-lasting connections with players in Latin America, including managing in the Dominican Winter League and the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic in 2023 certainly doesn’t hurt his case, either. Being able to relate to players who may not speak English as their primary language is a point in his favor as well.