Cleveland preparing for Terry Francona to return as manager during the 2022 season.
Asked Chris Antonetti if CLE is operating as though Terry Francona will return in 2022.— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) September 18, 2021
"We continue to plan looking at 2022 with Tito as our manager. If at some point that changes, we're gonna have to reconsider things. But we have no reason to think that'll be the case."
Francona has been away from the team since late July due to health concerns. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the 62-year-old managed just 14 games due to gastrointestinal issues.
Sandy Alomar Jr. filled in for much of last year, leading Cleveland to a 28-18 record.
This season, bench coach DeMarlo Hale has taken over as interim manager. Cleveland has a 71-74 record, 10.5 games out of a wild-card spot.
Francona is one of the most successful managers in Major League Baseball. He won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 and is also a two-time Manager of the Year honoree.
Francona's best season with Cleveland came in 2016, when he led the club to the American League pennant.