The Chicago Cubs are now knee-deep in their search for a new manager, and the candidate that they are going to interview next is a very intriguing option.
After already interviewing Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch and most recently Rick Renteria, the Cubs now turn their attention to Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, who they will reportedly interview sometime this week.
Martinez played 16 seasons in the big leagues with eight different teams, including the first three years of his career with the Cubs. Martinez is very excited about this opportunity to interview for the Cubs job. “Getting this job would be awesome,” Martinez said to Cash Kruth of MLB.com. “It’s where I started my whole career. [Wrigley Field] is probably the best field I’ve ever played on.”
Martinez has no prior managing experience, but he has been the bench coach for the Rays since 2008, working under arguably the best manager in baseball, Joe Maddon. In this managerial search, the Cubs are hoping to land the next Maddon, who was hired by the Rays in 2006 as a relatively unknown guy.
Many say that Maddon gives Martinez a ton of responsibility in coaching the Rays. You have to imagine that some of what makes Maddon so good has rubbed off on Martinez in the past six seasons. Who would be better to hire as the next Joe Maddon then his “right-hand-man”? He is known as an up-and-coming coach, and even if the Cubs pass, he will surely get a managing gig eventually.
I think that Martinez is a viable candidate and would do a great job if hired by the front office. Renteria and Acta appear to be the lead candidates at the moment, but it is hard to count anybody out at the moment.
Regardless of who they hire, I trust that this front office will make the right decision. Dale Sveum did not work out, but I believe that the Cubs learned a lot from that hire. Also, before Sveum, the last managing hire that Cubs President Theo Epstein made was when he brought Terry Francona to the Boston Red Sox in 2004.
I would say that the Francona hire worked out well for Epstein (and current Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer, who was also with Boston at that time) as he led them to two World Series Championships. The other finalist to be Red Sox manager in 2004? A guy by the name of Joe Maddon. I trust that this front office will make the right hire.