Rumor Central: Dusty Wathan, Gabe Kapler finalists for Phillies' job?

Dusty Wathan is among the reported finalists for the Phillies' managerial opening. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies' methodical search for a new manager is “rounding the homestretch,” and an announcement could come by early next week, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Rumor Central

Salisbury says Dusty Wathan, the manager of the Phillies’ Triple-A-affiliate in Lehigh Valley, and Gabe Kapler, the director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, have emerged as the finalists, while former Red Sox manager John Farrell “is getting a late look” from general manager Matt Klentak.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted Wednesday that the Phillies are “zeroing in” on Wathan, who guided top organizational prospects such as Rhys Hoskins and J.P. Crawford before they reached the major leagues. Both Hoskins and Crawford have praised Wathan’s work.

Former D-backs manager Chip Hale and Jorge Velandia, a special assistant to Klentak, are among the others who have been interviewed.

It remains to be seen if the Phillies might be interested in Joe Girardi, who officially parted ways with the New York Yankees on Thursday morning. If that is the case, the timeline could be altered.

The Phillies announced in late September that Pete Mackanin would not be retained as manager in 2018. Klentak is believed to looking for a younger, analytically driven successor to the 66-year-old Mackanin, and both Wathan, 44, and Kapler, 42, would fit that mold.

- Doug Mittler