Chicago Cubs: Dave Martinez to be named Washington Nationals manager
By Tim Stebbins
Just days after making several coaching changes, the Chicago Cubs will reportedly lose another member of their 2016 coaching staff.
Dave Martinez will finally receive a managerial opportunity that is long overdue. The Washington Nationals will name Martinez, 53, as their next manager, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
The MLB generally asks teams to make big announcements after the World Series. As a result, the Nationals will most likely announce the hiring of Martinez’s later this week.
Martinez will receive a three-year contract with an option from the Nationals, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. Once officially hired, he will be the Nationals’ seventh manager in 12 years.
Long road to this point for Martinez
Martinez has served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach since 2008, when the two were with the Tampa Bay Rays. He interviewed to be the Rays’ manager after Maddon opted out of his contract to join the Chicago Cubs.
The Rays ultimately hired Kevin Cash to replace Maddon, not Martinez. In turn, Martinez once again joined Maddon’s staff, becoming the Cubs’ bench coach in 2015. The team would win its first World Series since 1908 a season later.
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Martinez has interviewed for many MLB managerial openings in his time as a bench coach. All of the Blue Jays, Indians, Astros, Nationals, Dodgers and Rays passed up on Martinez.
The Nationals interviewed Martinez for manager in 2013, though they ultimately hired Matt Williams instead. After just two seasons on the job, the Nationals fired Williams in 2015, however.
Another coaching vacancy for Cubs
Martinez’s exit leaves yet another vacancy on the Cubs’ coaching staff. The Cubs cleaned house this week, dismissing their pitching coach, hitting coach and third base coach. While the Cubs filled these vacancies quickly, there is no clear-cut favorite for the bench coach job.
One possible option for the Cubs new bench coach is John Farrell. Farrell served as the Boston Red Sox’s pitching coach from 2007-2010; he also managed the Blue Jays from 2011-2012 and Red Sox from 2013-2017.
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All in all, the Cubs had to have known that this day was coming. Martinez’s future as a manager was a manner of when, not if. It will be interesting to see which potential candidates the Cubs consider to join their staff for 2018 and beyond.