Even as Theo Epstein suggested interviews for the vacant managerial gig may not kick off until next week, the rumors are flying heavily – as well as the nudging radio interviews (Joe Girardi wants this job).
Some of the latest on the Cubs’ search, as well as the other searches around the league, which could impact the Cubs …
- I’ve heard this from a lot of corners, and it’s been a little hard to parse whether it’s thirdhanding, or if it’s actually folks hearing it from the highest levels of the Cubs organization:
A fair number of people around baseball believe the Cubs’ job is David Ross’ if he wants it. The bigger question may be: how badly does he want it?
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 2, 2019
- Ross certainly indicated he wants to at least talk with the Cubs about the job, though he stopped short of saying he’d definitely take it if offered. And Epstein suggested there’s a list of Cubs candidates – two others include first base coach Will Venable and bench coach Mark Loretta, plus at least one candidate on a current playoff team – that they want to talk to/about. It could be a lot of pageantry or back-up plans or mere attempts to get info from other orgs, but I tend to think it’s more about making sure they get the right guy, even if they strongly suspect at this point that Ross is their preferred candidate.
- This Tribune article goes through the candidates you mostly already know at this point – with the inclusion of Carlos Beltran and Raul Ibañez – but adds one name we haven’t discussed: Cubs special assistant Kevin Youkilis. The Greek God of Walks has been a special assistant with the Cubs for five years now, though it’s not clear if he’s interested in a big league managerial gig, or how he’d take to it. I don’t really have any sense on that one. Of note, when the Cubs confirmed three internal candidates for the gig, Youkilis was not mentioned.
- The Phillies are still deciding whether to retain manager Gabe Kapler, who is well-regarded but controversial, and whose Phillies have now disappointed two years in a row. It could be that they’re trying to feel out whether they could land Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, or Joe Maddon before deciding to let Kapler finish out his contract next year.
- Speaking of Maddon, although it sure seems like a done deal that he’s going to go to the Angels, the Angels are making sure to tell the world that they totally didn’t fire Brad Ausmus (after one year) because Maddon became available, and they’re totally going through a normal managerial search process.
- This is an interesting note on a couple veteran managerial names, one of whom – John Farrell – has family connections with the Cubs organization:
Another former manager who is interested in doing the job again: Former #BlueJays and #RedSox manager John Farrell. Interviewed with #Phillies before they hired Kapler and #Reds before they hired Bell. https://t.co/fqUurBmGTq
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 1, 2019
- Just about every coach with the Astros is going to be viewed as a potential managerial candidate:
#Astros first base coach Don Kelly was mentioned to me by one GM as someone who could interview for managerial jobs this offseason. Of note: He’s a Pittsburgh area native and debuted with the #Pirates in 2007. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 1, 2019
- Kelly is actually a very recent coach, having been a scout with the Tigers in his post-playing days, and then becoming an Astros coach just last year. He’s about a green as it gets when it comes to managerial candidates, but still might be a good one to interview – just to see what he knows …