Canadian baseball icon and current triple-A manager Stubby Clapp is attracting strong interest from MLB teams in search of a potential manager next season, reports to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Clapp, who was named skipper of the St. Louis Cardinals’ triple-A affiliate prior to the 2016 season, is set to take home his second straight Manager of the Year title in the Pacific Coast League, according to Nightengale.
The 45-year-old Clapp has guided the Redbirds to a league-best 80-53 record in 2018, on the heels of a 91-win campaign the year before. Prior to joining the Memphis Redbirds, the Windsor, Ont., native held minor-league coaching positions with the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays, in addition to working with the Team Canada squad that captured gold at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Clapp — selected by the Cardinals in the 36th round of the 1996 MLB draft — played nine minor-league seasons, totalling 824 games. He experienced his only taste of the majors in 2001, appearing in 23 games for St. Louis. Clapp also competed for Canada at the World Baseball Classic, Olympics and other international competitions.
It’s unclear which MLB clubs could have manager vacancies in 2019, but the Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds are among teams with interim skippers, while there’s uncertainty surrounding Blue Jays manager John Gibbons beyond this season.
With rampant speculation earlier this month that Gibbons would be fired, general manager Ross Atkins told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that Gibbons would finish the season with the Blue Jays, but his status for 2019 would be determined later.
“Because of recent rumours that have come out, we had some really frank discussions about the future and ultimately decided he’s our manager,” Atkins said. “We’ll revisit at the end of the year what that means for going forward, but for 2018 he’ll remain our manager.”