The final managerial vacancy remaining has been filled according to multiple reports, including one from Yahoo's Tim Brown. The Chicago Cubs will announce San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria the 59th manager in franchise history on Thursday.
The news comes as no surprise after the Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus over the weekend and the Boston Red Sox denied Chicago permission to interview Torey Lovullo. The Cubs also had interest in Joe Girardi before he returned to the New York Yankees, but it appears there were no other serious candidates remaining on the team's short list.
As the dominoes fell, it actually became an easy decision for Theo Epstein and general manager Jedd Hoyer. But as CBS Sports' Jon Heyman indicates, Renteria is by no means a consolation prize.
Cubs love Renteria so not sure it mattered. But redsox weren't relenting on lovullo/agreement not to poach for 3 years.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 6, 2013
Renteria takes over for Dale Sveum, who finished 127-197 in two seasons for the rebuilding Cubs. It won't be an easy assignment for a first-time manager in the short-term, but the Cubs clearly view him as a perfect fit for the long haul. As Brown notes in his piece, Renteria is known within the game as an excellent teacher. He's also established a good connection with Latin players while managing Team Mexico in the WBC. That should serve him well when dealing with Starlin Castro and future talent like Javier Baez, Alberto Almora and Jorge Soler.
Sure, there will be an adjustment period for Renteria in his new role, but as adjusts and develops as a manager, the next wave of Cubs talent will be doing the same in the minor leagues. The hope and the plan is that all of those ingredients will come together at just the right time, likely 2-3 years down the road, to give the Cubs a strong foundation.
In that regard, the Cubs gameplan couldn't be any better. Now it's up to pieces they've put in place to do their jobs as hoped, which is always far from a guarantee.
Nonetheless, it should be fun to watch.
As for the Padres, a big opportunity awaits somebody alongside Bud Black.
I'd expect Dave Roberts to replace Renteria as Bud Black's bench coach. Glenn Hoffman would also work there. Two good men.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) November 7, 2013
When one door closes, another opens up.
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