The Cubs have had a lot of coaching changes this offseason and they still have one more to go. Despite the Orioles being all weird about Brandon Hyde, all reports indicate he’ll be the new manager in Baltimore.
That means the Cubs need a new bench coach.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2018
So, the immediate speculation points to the Cubs turning to David Ross as the next bench coach. He’s beloved by the players and trusted after playing the last two years of his career with them. However, there’s no confirmation if Ross wants to fully get back into the every day grind of a baseball season.
The Cubs appear to have Ross at the top of their list, but no matter what they want him to have a more defined role with the team starting in 2019.
So, if Ross passes on the job, Raul Ibanez might be considered for the position on Joe Maddon’s coaching staff.
Btw, Don’t know where Cubs are with a new bench coach but Raul Ibanez is one early name I’ve heard to consider. (Besides Ross of course)
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) December 12, 2018
That may seem a bit random, but the Cubs actually tried to hire Ibanez prior to the 2018 season.
Here’s what Jon Heyman reported back in March during spring training.
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.”
Ibanez had a 19-year career in the big leagues and last played in 2014. And even though he doesn’t have any coaching experience in pro baseball Ibanez was a finalist to become the Rays manager after Maddon left Tampa Bay to join the Cubs after the 2014 season.
This front office obviously thinks highly of Ibanez, as Heyman said he was one of three guys they viewed as future managers. Aaron Boone eventually did get hired by the Yankees to be their manager in 2018.
Ibanez has been a special assistant to Andrew Friedman with the Dodgers front office for a couple years and was considered for the Yankees managerial position before New York went with Boone.
Who knows, maybe the Cubs hire their new bench coach before they actually make a signing this offseason.