Dodgers Rumors: AJ Hinch Denies Being Candidate For Managerial Vacancy
Dodgers Rumors: A.j. Hinch Denies Being Candidate For Managerial Vacancy
Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

After mutually agreeing to part ways with Don Mattingly, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves without a manager for the first time in the last eight years.

Over that span, Joe Torre was quickly hired after Grady Little resigned, and Torre was then replaced by Mattingly for the 2011 season as part of a succession plan.

With two years remaining on his contract, Mattingly was retained by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman when the heralded executive at last uprooted himself out of the Tampa Bay organization.

While the pairing worked well enough to get the Dodgers a third consecutive National League West division title for the first time in franchise history, Friedman now has the opportunity to hand-pick his own manager.

That won’t be Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch, however, as he told MLB Network Radio he is not among the candidates for the managerial vacancy in Los Angeles:

Hinch took over as interim manager of Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, going 58-75 to close out the season. He began the next season as manager, but was fired after going 31-48 through the first 79 games in 2010.

His tenure in Arizona came during the same period Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes served as the Diamondbacks’ general manager. The two then reunited in the San Diego Padres organization.

Friedman and Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi spoke highly of Mattingly throughout their press conference last week, as they routinely did throughout the season. Mattingly said he leaves the Dodgers organization with positive memories and confident the revamped front office will lead the club in a positive direction.

What was apparent from Friedman and Zaidi is their desire to hire a manager that will mesh with a roster they expect to be more youthful. “We expect to have a younger team going forward,” Zaidi said.

Hinch, 41, certainly fits that bill as he led a young Astros team to 86 wins and a Wild-Card game berth in his first year with the organization.

Houston defeated the New York Yankees in the one-game playoff, but let a 2-1 series lead in the American League Division Series slip away against the Kansas City Royals.

Director of player development Gabe Kapler is widely expected to make the transition from the front office to the dugout, though neither Friedman nor Zaidi have tipped their hand. Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez is also believed to be a candidate for the open position.