Cubs are still determining David Ross’ long-term value
Ahead of the 2020 season, the Cubs decided that World Series champion and beloved former catcher David Ross would become their next manager to fill the shoes of Joe Maddon. That initial contract covered three years, so that means this upcoming season will ultimately play a huge role in deciding whether or not he will be re-signed by the team.
His first year as a manager was undoubtedly a unique one due to COVID-19 shortening the 2020 season to just 60 games, but he didn’t let it ruin his debut season. The Cubs won the NL Central and were the only team in MLB that didn’t have a player to test positive for COVID-19, which certainly falls on the manager to some degree. His leadership and close relationship with the team led to him becoming a finalist for National League Manager of the Year. All things considered, you couldn’t ask for a better season out of a first-year manager.
Last year was his first full-length season as a manager and it also had its challenges. The roster teardown in July would certainly be a difficult task for anyone to manage, but he was able to keep morale stable as newer guys got their chances. The team looked oddly fresh after the core was shipped away. Their record wasn’t great, as was expected, but some stretches seemed like this team has what it takes to compete relatively soon again.
Patrick Wisdom toppled Kris Bryant’s Cub rookie home run record, Frank Schwindel had five game-winning hits in a six-game stretch from Sept. 1-6, along with promising outings from Adbert Alzolay, Justin Steele and Keegan Thompson.
Chicago Cubs, David Ross have discussed an extension multiple times
The Cubs and Ross were discussing an extension toward the end of the year and from all angles, it seems like a deal will be done sooner rather than later. From what we’ve seen to this point, it’s reasonable to sign him for a few more years and see what he can do with a (hopefully) contending roster in the next couple of seasons considering he has been able to manage fairly well with what are essentially Triple-A rosters playing at the major league level.
A team’s relationship with their manager is very important, as we saw was the case with the White Sox and Tony LaRussa last year. It would be very beneficial to have a manager that continues to grow in his role so when it is time to contend, you don’t have to hire someone off the market who may not have the same knowledge and chemistry with the players.