The Cubs parted with manager Joe Maddon last weekend, but it’s possible they’ll turn to one of his former underlings to steer the ship in 2020. Bench coach Mark Loretta and first base coach Will Venable are officially candidates to become the team’s next manager, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. They join the previously confirmed David Ross as in-house possibilities to succeed Maddon.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein suggested Monday that hiring someone with previous managerial experience would be a plus. However, nobody from the Loretta-Venable-Ross trio has managed in either the majors or minors up to now.
The 48-year-old Loretta, a two-time All-Star during his tenure as a major league infielder, is coming off his first season on Chicago’s coaching staff. Loretta previously worked as a special assistant with the Padres, who hired him upon his retirement in 2010.
Still just 36, Venable isn’t far removed from a respectable run as a major league outfielder with the Padres, Rangers and Dodgers. Venable retired to join the Chicago front office in September 2017, though the team changed his role to that of a coach a couple months later.
Loretta, Venable and Ross are among a seemingly large group of candidates to take over as the Cubs’ next manager. Epstein said Monday he and his front office cohorts are assembling a “broad list” of names as they work to recover from an awful finish to the 2019 season.