Cubs Skipper Search in the Final Stages?

The Cubs managerial search took a step forward this week when the top candidates met with Cubs’ Chairman Tom Ricketts. Multiple reports indicated Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg and Eric Wedge have had formal interviews with Ricketts … and a report from Carrie Muskat stated that Bob Melvin also met with Ricketts to discuss the Cubs’ job.

All of the reports stated the Cubs have no timetable on when the announcement will be made … but Bruce Levine feels the decision could be made soon.

Jim Hendry appears to have his final four … Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg, Eric Wedge and Bob Melvin, with Mike Quade being the odds-on-favorite according to the Tribune.

Mike Quade appears to be the front-runner to be the Cubs next skipper. While Jim Hendry has stated there are no favorites at this time, many feel the interim tag will be removed and Quade will remain at the helm … at least while Hendry is still the team’s GM.

The Tribune pointed out that “no transition period would be necessary” with Quade because he “would probably keep most of the coaching staff.”

With Rudy Jaramillo under contract for the next two seasons and Larry Rothschild picking up his own option on Monday, in all likelihood Quade would just have to name a bench coach to replace Alan Trammell, who is not expected to return.

According to Bruce Levine
, Ryne Sandberg had his interview with Ricketts “within the last two weeks” and Quade met with the Cubs’ Chairman after the season ended on October 3.

Despite rumors, teams have not been given formal permission to discuss their managerial openings with either Mike Quade or Ryne Sandberg.

Eric Wedge, the former manager of the Cleveland Indians, had his sit-down on Monday in Chicago … at least his fourth formal interview for the job. Bruce Levine reported during Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000) last Saturday that Wedge had met with Hendry at least twice at the time and Assistant GM, Randy Bush, at least once.

Buster Olney tweeted about Wedge’s interview with Tom Ricketts. “A friend of Eric Wedge says this about his meeting with the Cubs’ owners: He’s a very convincing guy, so this can only help his chances.”

As the Tribune pointed out
Eric Wedge, unlike Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg, does not have any connections to the Cubs … “and thus doesn’t meet one of the criteria Ricketts set” for the next Cubs’ manager.

It is unclear if Bob Melvin has interviewed with Tom Ricketts, but the former Mariners and D’Backs manager has discussed the Cubs’ job with Jim Hendry and Randy Bush. Like Wedge, Melvin has zero connections with the Chicago Cubs, but did interview for the Cubs’ job in 2002 prior to Hendry hiring Dusty Baker.

Stay Tuned …

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