(Edited 12:16 PM)
I have some questions about Dave Martinez as a candidate. We had a great piece on him by guest poster Jake Larsen. Yesterday I wrote about how Martinez felt really good about his interview and expects to hear something soon.
But personally I can't find anyone in the industry that's all that crazy about him. I don't mean to say he's disliked. Just didn't get a great vibe. One source dismissed him completely, another simply told me he won't get the job, a third told he he just didn't have that high an opinion of him, a fourth liked him but didn't think he'd be the right fit for the Cubs situation. While some have been concerned about Acta and Hinch, I have been more concerned about Martinez.
I wrote earlier about how yet another source said the Cubs may have interviewed him in part because an interview was so strongly recommended by the Tampa Bay front office. It's not like the Rays let go of their valuable assets so easily. One reader asked my why they would go out of their way to have the Cubs talk to him when they are supposedly grooming him for their own managing job in the future.
Good question. Why would they?
What's more, it was suggested to me by an industry source that Martinez may not necessarily be their top choice within their organization to replace Maddon. And if that's so, why not?
It's entirely plausible Tampa Bay just wants the best opportunity for Martinez to get a managerial job somewhere and they are also confident with the up and coming managerial prospects they have in their system. After all, Tampa does a great job of developing ballplayers, maybe they develop managerial candidates too. It could be just a question of depth and that Martinez is the most ready to manage, but may not get that opportunity soon in Tampa.
There's also speculation that the Cubs weren't overwhelmed by any of the candidates and/or didn't feel they were the right fit.
I really want to buy into Martinez, but I'm just not feeling the love out there. Right now I'd be shocked if he were the guy. In fact, as I was writing this, I've just been told that the feeling right now is that things are not going to be moving forward with Martinez.
I've also mentioned the reaction hasn't been all that strong for Rick Renteria but I also get the sense that it's he's not as widely known throughout the industry and he's certainly not as well known as he is within the Cubs front office.
Everyone I've asked seems to agree he's a good coach and that he can work and communicate easily with young players and players of Latin American descent. His bilingual skills are a plus.
I think his status as a favorite has been exaggerated. If he's so far ahead, it'd make no sense to wait on this unless a deal has been reached and the Cubs are waiting until after the World Series to make things official.
If there is a downside to Renteria, it's his laid back personality and questions whether he could handle the Chicago media. His lack of MLB managing experience is also a negative, but only Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch have that edge in the current pool of candidates and has been well-documented, they did not succeed from a won-lost standpoint.
Of course, the other explanation goes back to the Cubs not being blown away and want to do their due diligence. There is Torey Lovullo, who I've heard good things about in the industry as well as from media reports.
David Kaplan has been vocal about the managerial candidates and talked to a scout who said this about Lovullo
“Another solid baseball man who is ready to manage at the big league level. He has a very good resume and he is a good guy. Not sure that he is the exact profile of what Theo and Jed are looking for but he is solid and would do a good job.”
I heard something similar from a source I talked to who thought he'd be a strong candidate but wouldn't get the job.
Kaplan has been supporting Brad Ausmus after initially denying Cubs interest in the inexperienced manager. Parks mentioned Ausmus to me as well. He actually likened him to Hinch, but without the experience in the dugout or in player development.
Craig Calcaterra of NBC Hardball Talk also likes Ausmus and thinks he'd be a good fit.
Not much is being said at this point about Manny Acta or A.J. Hinch. They were the first two interviews and while we heard things went well with Acta, we haven't heard much since. There has been vehement opposition locally because of their losing record and the requisite ex-post facto attempts to explain why, but personally I've heard good things on both from industry people I trust. There is also some support in the media from a couple of progressive minds. Keith Law also mentioned Acta as his favorite candidate and Jason "Professor" Parks of Baseball Prospectus told me he really thinks Hinch would be the creative choice because of his development skills and thinks he has the personality to handle the Chicago media.
Former candidates Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar, Jr. are still on the radar but they have to be viewed as extreme long shots at this point in the process. There's been no official reports of either receiving an interview.
Filed under: Uncategorized