A couple days ago MLB insider Jon Heyman provided Chicago Cubs fans a nice little piece of information. In Heyman’s recent notes on all 30 teams, he brought up how the Cubs’ front office tried to hire three former players to be coaches this past offseason.
Those three, according to Heyman, are viewed as future managers by the current front office and one already is, as Aaron Boone got the New York Yankees managerial position. The other two were Raul Ibanez and former Cubs infielder Mark DeRosa.
Via Jon Heyman.
The Cubs identified three potential future managers to try to convince to come as coaches (one of whom now has a managing job), but Mark DeRosa, Raul Ibanez and Aaron Boone wound up not coming. Theo Epstein, upon seeing Boone was going to be named Yankees manager, jokingly told him that “it must have been a tough choice — Yankees manager of Cubs quality assurance coach.”
What does this mean for current Cubs manager Joe Maddon? Nothing really, as Heyman didn’t say the trio were viewed to be Maddon’s replacement, simply are considered to be a manager with someone in the future.
Maddon is signed through 2019, and although he hasn’t been given a contract extension like Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, (through 2021) he could very easily be given one after this season. The only time you should be worried about Maddon’s future with the Cubs is if he does indeed begin next year without a contract extension. Still, plenty of time to work that out.
All that being said, it would be in great interest of the Cubs to prepare for life after Maddon. The 64-year-old is one of the oldest in MLB, so you never know what his future plans are either.
Back to the names. Boone, Ibanez and DeRosa all have a few things in common. For starters the three men have broadcasting experience, around the same age (mid-40s) and have recent playing experience. Obviously the Cubs weren’t the only ones to see something special in Boone, as he replaced Joe Giradi in New York without any prior coaching experience.
Again, no indication that the Cubs are actively looking to replace Maddon, but it does look like they’re thinking ahead, and trying to give some ex players a chance to start their coaching career.
If Heyman’s quote by Epstein is accurate, the Cubs were trying to find a quality assurance coach. That position was held by Henry Blanco for the past three years, but remains open now that he joined Davey Martinez’s coaching staff with the Washington Nationals.
As always, whenever we discuss possible coaches and managers David Ross has to come up, right? Ross already works in the Cubs front office and remember he was getting some consideration for the Yankees job before Boone was hired.
There’s also Will Venable, who became the Cubs first base coach this offseason and Brandon Hyde who’s Maddon’s bench coach.
So, just something to keep in the back of your head, but for now it’s the Joe Maddon show and after three straight appearances in the NLCS with one World Series title, I’d say it’s working just fine.