The search continues …
- The Cubs have interviewed former manager Eric Wedge for their open position, according to Peter Gammons, speaking this morning on Mully and Hanley. I’ll dig into Wedge a bit more if there’s some confirmation out there, but, for now, I think he’s not the kind of guy that gets folks too excited … but he’s not a bad candidate. Despite being just 45, Wedge has a great deal of managerial experience, having managed seven mixed years in Cleveland in the 2000s (remember, there’s a lot of front office overlap between the Indians in that time period and the Red Sox, Padres, and Diamondbacks, from whence the Cubs’ front office largely came). He also managed three down years for the Mariners, include 2013. He didn’t have much of a roster over that time period, and he declined to return for 2014, although he was reportedly asked to stay on. Wedge is perhaps best known around these parts as the manager who said silly things about sabermetrics, but, if he’s being considered by this front office, I’m going to assume he didn’t quite mean his remarks like they sounded. (Indeed, he probably simply meant that, sometimes, players get a little too into their own head at the plate because of the things organizations ask them to do, as a result of sabermetric analysis.)
- Wedge, it’s worth noting, was actually interviewed by the Cubs for their open managerial spot before the 2011 season (the job went to Mike Quade). It’s also worth noting that it’s OK if the Cubs want Wedge solely for his badass mustache.
- Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the Cubs’ managerial search list is seven deep, with only Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch, Rick Renteria, Dave Martinez, and Torey Lovullo as the known names. That means, yes, two mystery candidates (one of which is probably Wedge, given the above Gammons report). Wittenmyer says those two do not include Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar, Don Mattingly, Jim Leyland, or Jose Oquendo. Patrick Mooney adds that the list also doesn’t include Tony Pena, Jason Varitek, DeMarlo Hale, Dave Magadan, or Chip Hale.
- UPDATE as I type: sure enough, Wittenmyer confirms that Wedge is the sixth candidate, and the Cubs have spoken with him. A formal interview is forthcoming as soon as next week.
- Speaking of Mattingly, despite all of the chill of the past week, he’s reportedly returning to the Dodgers next year. What an uncomfortable situation. Good thing the team is successful and expensive.
- The Cubs are officially now not the only team talking to Rick Renteria, a reported favorite for the Cubs gig: yesterday, the Padres’ bench coach met with the Mariners about their open managerial position. If the Mariners decide to act quickly and make an offer to Renteria, the Cubs may be in a bit of a sticky situation as they (reportedly) wait to make a decision until after they’ve had a chance to talk to Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. The Mariners, for their part, are also reportedly considering the guy the Cubs don’t seem to be ready to consider, Brad Ausmus.
- Jesse Rogers hears from many folks that A.J. Hinch should not be the guy for the Cubs’ gig.
- Folks sure are trying to push the Ozzie Guillen thing. Despite no indications whatsoever from the Cubs that they would actually consider bringing Guillen – and all that accompanies him – into the fold, the Tribune reports that Guillen would gladly return to baseball as a coach … but only with the Cubs. Guillen says there would be no worries about the manager looking over his shoulder, since Guillen already has his money, and would come back to coach only if that’s actually what he wanted to do. Speaking as a person who is charged with writing about the Cubs every day, I say, hell yeah, bring Ozzie on! But speaking as a fan of the organization and the team, and thinking about what’s best going forward, I’m not sure Guillen, in any capacity, is a good fit.
- The Nationals are set to hire Matt Williams for their open job, per Ken Rosenthal. Unless he was a mystery candidate, Williams wasn’t in the mix for the Cubs, so there’s only a positive impact here.