Might the next Cub manager come from the City of Angels?
The Chicago Cubs currently still have a vacancy in the managerial chair. Already missing out on top target Joe Girardi, there have been many interviewed candidates vying for the position. Might the next be a sudden free agent from out west?
This will be the third new hire for the Cubs in the last three seasons. With win-loss records below the .500 mark and fans growing restless, there is a sense of built up pressure being weighed by the front office. In the court of public on the North Side, a winner needs to be hired and wins need to be seen on the field sooner rather than later. The white "W" flag has not been getting much use during the rebuilding phase at Clark and Addison.
Already interviewed candidates include the names of Dave Martinez from Tampa Bay, Manny Acta formerly of Cleveland, A.J. Hinch from San Diego, and Rick Renteria also from San Diego. A few other rumor mills turn toward long shot and former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, and current Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo. Guillen is a lightning rod of intrigue, but he does know something about bringing a World Series Championship to the city of Chicago. Lovullo cannot be interviewed until his current team is finished with a match-up with Cub rival, the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. At this stage, it is difficult to handicap the race for the Cubs next manager.
But if the Cubs play the waiting game a bit longer, might a big time manager that also managed in the post season become available? Current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is not exactly a lock to put on Dodger blue next season just yet. Mattingly does have a club option worth about $1.4 million dollars that would put him in line to return, but the powers at be may have other plans. In recent comments, Mattingly himself says he is unsure of what the future holds in LA.
The last three seasons with the Dodgers are the only managerial experience Mattingly has. However, in those three seasons he does have a winning record and a trip to the National League Championship Series on his resume. Earlier this season, it was also rumored that Donnie Baseball may have even been fired after Los Angeles' slow start to the season. Fortunes turned however with the call up and spark of talented outfielder Yasiel Puig.
If the Dodgers do decide to pass on Mattingly, may the Cubs be waiting with open arms? It has been well publicized that Theo Epstein and company have been building a farm system of young talent. That talent, and a long list of prospects are very nearly ready to try and contribute at the big league level. Whomever the next hire is for the Cubs will have young talent and an opportunity to succeed at their disposal.
Still, many questions remain in the coaching carousel. Stay tuned.