Chicago Cubs: Making the case for John Farrell as next bench coach

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Manager John Farrell
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Manager John Farrell /

The Chicago Cubs have nearly fortified their new coaching staff, but a giant void looms after the departing Dave Martinez.

We’ve spent time talking about the needs of the Chicago Cubs this offseason, namely pitching. Another need will reside in the dugout, and primarily be Joe Maddon‘s, right-hand man.

The next Dave Martinez.

Who could that be? Why not John Farrell? If he wants it. The former Red Sox manager won a World Series in Boston in 2013, his team dispatching the Cardinals in six.

Making the case

Farrell has big league managing experience, and the Cubs, retooling the coaching staff, already possess coaches in Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield which Farrell knows from his time on Yawkey Way.

Though Farrell won a World Series, his time in Boston was controversial, with last-place finishes the following two seasons and division titles, but first-round ousters the past two years. If it matters, the teams which knocked out Boston were the AL Champion Indians of 2016 and this year’s champions, the Astros.

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Before being a manager, Farrell was a pitching coach for Boston from 2007-10. In 2007, the Sox won a World Series with the second-best ERA (3.87) in the ML, and which featured a young up-and-coming pitcher and an eventual ace in Jon Lester.

So Farrell knows Lester, he knows half the Cubs coaches, and of course, there’s familiarity with his previous boss, Theo Epstein.

It’s not going to be Rossy

I know a lot of fans clamor for David Ross to join Maddon and the guys on the bench. That’s unlikely to happen, at this time anyway, because, in my estimation, Maddon could see the potential conflict of interest.

As much grief as Maddon got from fans and the media this past season, imagine the outcry on the teams’ first skid next season.

“Fire Joe, make Rossy manager.” 

I mean, who knows, that certainly wouldn’t surprise me, but there’s no way Joe does that to himself. And since he’s finally putting together his staff.

While I have no doubt Ross could be an excellent coach and maybe future manager, the Cubs could use experience in the role and for second-in-command.

Farrell also has sons in the Cubs organization, Shane, a scouting assistant, and most recently, Luke picked up from the Reds at the beginning of October.

Potential risks?

There could be some issues that would hinder Farrell’s next prospective job, maybe more so as a manager, as highlighted by Ken Rosenthal from May.

The beanball war between the Sox and Orioles, leadership concerns, and players thinking he might not stand up enough for them to the media. There was also the Dennis Eckersley and David Price drama.

Could that cloud his coaching prospects?

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Sure, I suppose, but think it’s doubtful that impacts the Cubs hiring him as potential bench coach. We know the fishbowl elements of such baseball towns, Boston, New York City, and Chicago, with contributing factors that play into any storyline.

This could be the kind of step back he could use. Of course, this hinges on Farrell wanting to be in baseball in 2018, and what the Cubs ultimately decide to do at the position. On paper, it makes sense.