As the Chicago Cubs prepare for life after manager Joe Maddon, the question of who will replace him is on the minds of every fan and observer of the team.
There are certainly a wide variety of options for the Cubs to choose from, whether they want to go with an experienced veteran like Joe Girardi, a newcomer like Will Venable or Sam Fuld, or a person with deep connections to the team like David Ross or Mark Loretta.
To help break down where the Cubs might go with their managerial search, here are eight potential candidates to replace Maddon in the dugout.
When Beltrán first announced his retirement from baseball, he found himself listed as one of the candidates for the New York Yankees’ managerial vacancy. He didn’t end up getting that job, but his name has continued to pop up during searches for new managers in the game.
The former Cubs infielder has been working as an analyst for MLB Network, but his name has come up repeatedly among baseball insiders as a possible Cubs managerial candidate. He was a candidate for the Texas Rangers’ managerial position last offseason, but turned the job down to remain in the television world.
Fuld, a former Cubs outfielder, has generated a ton of interest among fanbases in Chicago and Kansas City. He was a candidate for the Blue Jays’ managerial job last winter and is currently the player information coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies, and if the Cubs wanted to go with a younger, more new school-type manager, he could be an interesting name to keep an eye on.
If the Cubs want to go with a veteran manager with plenty of experience, then they’ll likely bring in Girardi for an interview. The one thing that could give the Cubs’ pause could be his acrimonious exit from the Yankees, as it was rumored he had difficulty communicating with younger players.
While there has been plenty of attention paid to bench coach Mark Loretta and first base coach Will Venable as a potential Maddon replacement, another member of the Cubs’ coaching staff could get a shot too: pitching coach Tommy Hottovy.
Hottovy brings an extremely analytical approach to the game, and with the front office’s emphasis on advanced metrics, he could be a good candidate to incorporate those types of numbers into his decision-making.
The Cubs’ current bench coach could be a logical replacement if the team wants to go with an in-house promotion. The Cubs’ last two bench coaches have both gone onto major league managerial positions, with Dave Martinez and Brandon Hyde each making the leap over the last two seasons.
The likely leader in the clubhouse for the position, Ross has good relationships with several key Cubs players and has remained tight with the team since he retired in 2016. It’s unclear whether he would want to pursue the job, but if he’s interested, he has to be looked at as one of, if not the, favorite to land it.
There has been talk about Venable being groomed for the manager’s job ever since he was hired as a coach by the Cubs, but is it too soon to pull the trigger and make him the new leader? The Cubs might prefer him to stay on as a bench coach for their new manager, but it could be an interesting move if they decide to elevate him right away.