Working against more than a century of futility and in the midst of a fresh plan to make it all work again, the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday chose as their new manager San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, according to sources.
Renteria, 51, beat out a handful of candidates, including A.J. Hinch, Eric Wedge, Dave Martinez and Manny Acta. Cubs management had hoped to lure New York Yankees manager and Chicago local Joe Girardi, who instead returned to the Yankees on a four-year deal.
Renteria replaces Dale Sveum, whose Cubs teams were 70 games under .500 over two seasons. Sveum was fired after the season.
Under president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, the Cubs are endeavoring to build through younger players. That often necessitates a strong teaching element at the big-league level, and Renteria is known within the industry as an excellent teacher. Along with certain position coaches in San Diego, he helped develop shortstop Everth Cabrera and outfielder Will Venable, among many others.
[Yahoo Sports Shop: Buy Boston Red Sox World Series championship gear]
"More than anything, he has a great passion for the game and for the people in the game," an official in San Diego said. "He has great character, high integrity and is a very good teacher."
The Cubs let Sveum go in part because they were unhappy with the development of their young players, such as Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. More are on the way, among them outfielders Junior Lake and Jorge Soler, and infielder Javier Baez.
The Cubs are expected to announce Renteria’s appointment on Thursday.