Cubs Confirm Will Venable, Mark Loretta Candidates for Manager Gig

Theo Epstein said during Monday’s press conference that there was one internal option for the open managerial job, though that may have been at least one. Or, since he was addressing a question about Mark Loretta, maybe he was talking about one in addition to the bench coach. Either way, the team confirmed Tuesday that both Loretta and first base coach Will Venable would be interviewed for the big vacancy, along with David Ross.

Loretta joined Joe Maddon’s staff last winter as a replacement for Brandon Hyde, who left to skipper the Orioles. He played for the Brewers, Astros, Padres, and Red Sox, was a two-time All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2004 while with San Diego. Prior to joining the Cubs, Loretta worked for nine years in the Padres front office, primarily as a special assistant in the baseball operations department.

Venable likewise came over from the Padres a year earlier. Best known for his time as a player in San Diego, Venable spent part of 2015 with the Rangers and then bounced around the Indians, Phillies, and Dodgers organizations before retiring. Though he was a solid player over the course of his nine-year career, it wasn’t necessarily his on-field performance that spurred the Cubs to bring him in.

Both Loretta and Venable were with the Padres when Jed Hoyer served as GM there, so they no doubt got to know each other well in SoCal. The same familiarity and respect that led the Cubs to bring these guys aboard in the first place is clearly playing a role here, and you wonder whether either or both would be asked to stick around should they be passed over. It figures that the club would like for that to happen.

Beyond these three internal candidates, Raul Ibáñez is reportedly being considered as well. Expect the process to move somewhat quickly as the Cubs will want to identify their new manager with so many other vacancies out there.

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