Rick Renteria is the next manager of the Chicago Cubs, the team confirmed on Thursday.
OFFICIAL: Rick Renteria named @Cubs manager, agreeing to 3-year contract with club options for 2017-18 seasons.— MLB (@MLB) November 7, 2013
Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago was the first to report the news:
Cubs will announce Rick Renteria as their next manager in next 24 hours. It's done— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 6, 2013
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times outlined the general structure of Renteria's forthcoming contract, which could extend to as many as five seasons:
Renteria gets three year deal (plus two club-option years)— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) November 7, 2013
Right off the bat Renteria gave fans some insight on how he views his new team (via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune):
RR on Rizzo: "More to do with approach.'' ... "(last year) is something he can learn from... He's got a tremendous future ahead of him.''— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) November 7, 2013
RR: "I can only think about moving forward with the kids we have.'' not dwelling on Cubs' past. "I think there's a lot of talent here.''— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) November 7, 2013
The 51-year-old Renteria has been the San Diego Padres bench coach for the past two seasons. His old boss Padres manager Bud Black had nothing but good things to say about his former bench coach (via csnchicago.com):
“He’s got a very perceptive eye for players and a very good perspective. If something is not going how Ricky expects it they’ll know where he stands.
He’s going to work his tail off. He’s going to teach. He’s gonna get dirty with the players. He’ll be pushing them. He has a great deal of energy. He’ll bring an everyday work ethic and passion.”
Sveum was fired on Sept. 30 by team president Theo Epstein. While his tenure has gotten off to a rocky start in Chicago, Epstein sounded extremely positive about the new leader of his team, and also suggests there will be more turnover with the coaches (via Gonzales):
Theo: "Rick's reputation is impeccible.'' Said he tried to hire him as field coordinator in Boston more than a decade ago.— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) November 7, 2013
Theo on coaching staff: "Not at point yet where we can make announcements.'' will be turnover— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) November 7, 2013
Gonzales highlights some of the unique qualifications that undoubtedly aided in Renteria's hiring:
Renteria has extensive experience working with young players, having served eight seasons as a manager in the Marlins’ and Padres’ farm system.
Renteria also is bilingual, which will help in communicating more directly with several Cubs players and prospects, namely Starlin Castro, Junior Lake and Javier Baez.
How would you grade this hire for the Cubs?
According to Gonzales, the Cubs' managerial search commenced five weeks ago with the pursuit of New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, with whom they never directly spoke after he signed a four-year extension to remain in the Bronx.
Renteria will become the Cubs' 53rd manager in franchise history, and the fourth in the past five years. MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports that due to the condition of Renteria's hip, there will be no press conference to introduce him, as he is unable to travel.
Chicago is seeking to find stability in the dugout amidst a difficult five-year playoff drought. Over the last five campaigns, the Cubs haven't won more than 83 games in a season.