The Chicago Cubs managerial search took a hit with Joe Girardi re-signing with the New York Yankees. He was their top candidate, since he’s from the area and was a former player for the organization. Oh, he also won the World Series as a manager.
The list of qualified candidates is out there, but we try to weed out the rumors.
The decision on who they hire makes a statement if this organization is looking to win now or if they realize this team is still a few years from making a run.
Will Theo Epstein hire once again hire one of his boys (Dale Sveum was third base coach on Boston’s 2004 World Series team) or will he go outside his comfort zone?
Here’s a list of the potential manager candidates the Cubs have to narrow down.
- Brad Ausmus – I consider him the front-runner right now. Girardi would have been a perfect fit, but Ausmus was also a very smart catcher in his playing days. I love catchers who later manager in the MLB. They are usually very good with the pitching staff and traditionally have a very good track record. Even though the Cubs said they are looking for a manager with big league managing experience, Ausmus (which has none) is still a good candidate.
- Manny Acta – He’s a manager than can mark time while a team matures. He was the manager with both the Nationals and Indians before they took the next step as playoff teams. If Acta is hired, the Cubs front office is acknowledging the team is still 2-3 years away from the playoffs.
- Sandy Alomar Jr. – I’m not the only person that loves former catchers as managerial candidates. He was an all-star catcher and is currently the Indians’ bench coach. He was a candidate before they hired Sveum.
- Rick Renteria – He’s not a household name, but has developed young talent in the Padres organization. He started in the minors and he’s currently San Diego’s bench coach. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer came from the Padres and is very familiar with Renteria. He has turned Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera and Yonder Alonso into productive major leaguers. The Cubs have plenty of young talent needing further development. He’s a very good candidate.
- A.J. Hinch – When scouting Hinch for the Cubs’ managerial job, he checks all the boxes. He has MLB manager experience, he’s developed young talent and is a former catcher. He has spent most of his post-career in player development. He’s a better version of Acta, but would still be an admission of the team’s lack of MLB talent.
- Dave Martinez – He’s the darkhorse in Cubs search for a new manager. He has not been a manager in the Majors (yet), but he definitely has bright future. He’s been the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays for the past five seasons. He has spent those seasons directly under Joe Madden. The Rays’ organization has done the best job at developing young talent in the MLB. He was also a former Cubs’ player, but if the team didn’t hire Ryne Sandberg over Sveum or Mike Quade, I don’t think that matters much.