San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria is quickly becoming the leading candidate to be the next manager of the Chicago Cubs.
According to a report by Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune, Renteria will be meeting a Cubs official for his second interview with the team. It stands to reason that the official will likely be president of baseball operations Theo Epstein or general manager Jed Hoyer. The interview is taking place at Renteria’s Southern California home as the prospective manager is recovering from hip surgery he had earlier this week.
Over the course of the past week, multiple baseball reporters have suggested that Renteria is the leader in the clubhouse for the Cubs managerial position. With managerial openings in Washington, Seattle, Detroit, and possibly in Los Angeles with the Dodgers; Renteria certainly is a trending candidate.
But the sense is that ever since the Cubs lost out on Joe Girardi, Renteria became the target of Hoyer and Epstein. Renteria has multiple connections to the Cubs. Renteria became the bench coach for the Padres in 2011–the last season that Hoyer was the general manager of the Padres before coming to the Cubs. Beyond Hoyer, Renteria has a fan in Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Renteria has been with Padres organization since 2007 and played a pivotal role in working with the Padres minor league players.
Rizzo is not the only player to endorse Renteria as the next Cubs manager. In recent weeks, Boston Red Sox pitchers and former Chicago pitchers Jake Peavy and Ryan Dempster publicly supported Renteria’s campaign to be the Cubs manager.
Dempster insists that Renteria has an incredible ability to teach players.
“He’s a tremendous baseball man,” said Dempster, whose association with the Padres’ bench coach dates back to their days in the Marlins’ organization when Renteria was a minor-league manager. “I enjoyed my time with him. He was incredible with the way he was able to teach guys. He’s a good man, and he would be a great manager as well.”-Ryan Dempster, Chicago Tribune
A teacher of the game is one of the main qualities that the Cubs are looking for in their next manager. The Cubs are looking for a manager that can assist in the development of the organization’s top prospects in addition to Rizzo and shortstop Starlin Castro. That is why Renteria may be on the inside track to being named the the next manager of the Cubs.