In the wake of the Rick Renteria firing, the Cubs are going to announce the hiring of Joe Maddon on Monday, Jon Heyman reports.
All of this is as orchestrated as a May Day parade, of course, but the Cubs are at least trying to get it all in the right order. And while none of it makes the sad lot of Renteria any better, at least give the Cubs some credit for honesty for admitting that they’re ditching Renteria for Maddon. For what it’s worth, Renteria is under contract with the Cubs for the next two seasons, so he will be paid while he considers other options.
Overall, not the finest hour for the Cubs, but one that they’re willing to endure to get the guy they want for the job. It’s not unlike the way in which the Tigers hired Sparky Anderson back in the day, casting aside Les Moss in May 1979. That eventually brought the rebuilding Tigers a World Series title. The Cubs are obviously seeking the same results.
The one outstanding question is whether or not the Cubs’ interest truly came after Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays, as their press release says. Some may suspect — and MLB may ask, I presume — whether or not some communication induced Maddon to exercise his opt-out as opposed to doing so merely because Andrew Friedman’s departure allowed him to.
I don’t suspect much will come of that. No one, in all likelihood, has an interest in pressing the issue.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.