Ever since Joe Girardi decided to return to the New York Yankees, Rick Renteria, who has been the bench coach for the San Diego Padres the past two seasons, appeared to be the top candidate to replace Dale Sveum as manager of the Chicago Cubs. Now, after weeks of speculation, according to multiple reports, the Cubs will name make Renteria the 59th manager in the history of the team and introduce him as such on Thursday.
Only time will tell how this hire works out for the Cubs, but on paper, Renteria seems to be a good fit. President Theo Epstein has said from day one that he wanted a manager that has had success in developing young talent. Renteria spent eight seasons as a manger in the minor leagues for both the Padres and Miami Marlins, having incredible success in player development in both organizations.
Also, in this managerial search, the Cubs reportedly preferred a bilingual manager. With several key players and prospects, like Starlin Castro and Javier Baez, speaking Spanish as a first language, Renteria’s ability to speak both languages is a big plus.
The Cubs also interviewed A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Eric Wedge, Dave Martinez and Brad Ausmus. All of which were excellent candidates, but Renteria seemed to be the guy all along. Renteria also had interviewed with the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers before those teams decided to go a different way.
All in all, I think the Cubs made a great decision with their hire. Renteria may not be a house-hold name, but he appears to be a smart baseball man that matches up well with this front office’s beliefs. One thing is for sure, the Cubs hope Renteria can lead their impressive young talent to the promise land sooner rather than later.