A day after Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer interviewed Dave Martinez at Wrigley Field, a report out of Dallas indicated the Cubs have asked the Rangers for permission to speak with Mike Maddux. The Rangers’ pitching coach was thought to be high on the Cubs’ list two years ago and according to reports at the time, Maddux was the frontrunner to be the first manager under the new regime until he backed out. Maddux cited family reasons as to why he did not want to pursue the Cubs’ job any further than he did.
Rumors and reports suggested that Mike Maddux would have another shot at the Cubs’ job after Dale Sveum was fired nearly three weeks ago and he could bring his brother with him from Texas. But those reports quieted as the media focused on the four candidates the front office interviewed.
The Cubs are known to have talked to A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez about the manager’s job and, as reported, the list of candidates could be expanded.
As previously reported, Torey Lovullo is on the Cubs’ radar according to Comcast SportsNet. Lovullo is currently John Farrell’s bench coach in Boston. As reported, the front office is expected to ask the Red Sox for permission to speak with Lovullo once the Red Sox’s season is over. Lovullo is focused on the job at hand but recently admitted he would like to manage one day.
Torey Lovullo sounds open to managing the Cubs and while there is a Boston connection, Lovullo was in the Red Sox’s system for only one season while Theo Epstein was calling the shots. Lovullo was Pawtucket’s skipper in 2010 before he left for Toronto to be on Farrell’s staff. Lovullo thinks he and Epstein had mutual respect for one another and a good working relationship.
Reportedly Dave Martinez and Rick Renteria are the frontrunners for the job. But as promised, Theo Epstein has kept the interview process very quiet this time around. So if the Cubs’ brass is keeping things close to the vest, it is safe to say that no one can know for sure who they’ve talked to and which one, if any, of the candidates is the frontrunner.
Not only has the front office been talking to potential managers, they are also doing their homework to assist in hiring the best coaching staff possible.
The new manager’s staff will reportedly have at least two, if not three, bilingual coaches. The front office did not care for the lack of communication with the players during Dale Sveum’s tenure and they appear to be focused on correcting those issues.
According to the Tribune, and as previously reported, the Cubs “have interviewed candidates for undisclosed positions on their coaching staff.”
The Cubs desire to add bilingual coaches to the big league staff could impact Mariano Duncan’s future with the organization. Mariano Duncan had a good relationship with Javier Baez last season during Baez’s time in Daytona. Duncan is technically Daytona’s hitting coach and he spent the last month of the season with Cubs after the roster expanded.
The front office appears to favor the return of Chris Bosio and Lester Strode and reportedly would like Dave McKay to return as well. The Diamondbacks have reached out to McKay about one of their coaching vacancies. Arizona was very interested in McKay two years ago before he took the job with the Cubs.
One of the recommendations of the front office to the new manager for his staff could be Alex Cora. According to a report from Bruce Levine, the front office will suggest that their future manager consider Alex Cora as a coach. Levine pointed out that Cora has a “big baseball IQ and verbal skills.”
Alex Cora played 14 seasons in the majors and last played big league ball for the Nationals in 2011. Cora was in Boston from 2005 through 2008 and is the brother of Joey Cora, Ozzie Guillen’s former right hand man. Cora is currently a baseball analyst for the four-letter network.
The Skipper Search
According to numerous reports, the Cubs would prefer to hire a bilingual manager. Of the four candidates known to have interviewed for the job, only one is not believed to be fluent in Spanish and that is A.J. Hinch. While reports are indicating that the front office would like a bilingual manager in order to ease the transition of the Latin players coming through the system, if the Cubs cannot find the right manager that checks all of the boxes they could go with a bilingual bench coach instead.
David Kaplan broke down the Cubs’ managerial search and reported information he’s obtained on each of the four known candidates that have been interviewed … A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez. Kaplan reported the pros and cons for all four men. Kaplan ended his report by stating he thinks the Cubs should make the bold move and hire Brad Ausmus.
Theo Epstein stated nearly three weeks ago that he would like to have the new manager in place by the second week of November prior to the GM Meetings that begin on November 11.