After firing manager Dale Sveum earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs are now searching for a new manager. The top candidate appears to be current New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, but the Cubs cannot speak to him until November 1 without permission from the Yankees, because that is when his contract officially expires.
The Yankees have apparently made an offer to Girardi, but he reportedly wants to hear from the Cubs before making a decision. The Yankees seem intent on not giving Girardi permission to speak with other teams until he flat out tells them he is not returning.
Because of this, it may be a while before we get an answer on who becomes the next manager of the Cubs. In the meantime, president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer are looking in to other candidates. One guy that whose name has been mentioned a ton is current San Diego Padres front office member and former Arizona Diamondbacks manager, A.J. Hinch.
Hinch spent about a season and a half as manager of the Diamondbacks, finishing with a record of 89-123. While that record is far from impressive, it is hard to put much blame on Hinch for that. The Diamondbacks were in the middle of a rebuild, and similarly with Sveum and the Cubs in the past two seasons, Hinch never had the talent to be competitive.
Hinch was then hired to head the scouting department of the Padres in 2010. Hoyer was the GM in San Diego at the time, and the man who hired Hinch. Also, before managing the Diamondbacks, he was the farm director for Arizona. Hinch’s background is very much on the player development side, which is a obvious plus for the Cubs job.
I believe the biggest reason the Cubs fired Sveum was that they did not trust him to develop their young talent. Hinch seems like a guy they could trust to do that, and Hoyer obviously believed in him before.
Hinch seems to be exactly what the Cubs are looking for in a manager. He has managing experience in the majors, and he has a ton of player development experience in both the major leagues and minor leagues. Also, Hinch is statistically inclined, which makes him fit in with this front office very well.
I still think that Girardi is the Cubs’ first choice, but if he decides to stay in New York, Hinch might be the guy that takes over at the top of the list.