Cubs Interview Brad Ausmus For Manager

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Theo Epstein's self-imposed deadline to hire a new manager is drawing closer.

Dave Martinez. Manny Acta. A.J. Hinch. Rick Renteria. Eric Wedge. Torey Lovullo.

That's a list of the possible future Cubs managers, and now, after Friday, you can add former Astros, Dodgers, Tigers and Padres catcher Brad Ausmus to the list, writes Mark Gonzales in the Tribune:

The only managerial experience for Ausmus, 44, occurred in fall 2012 when he managed Team Israel, which failed to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Nevertheless, former teammates hold him in high regard for his smarts and instincts during a long major league career.

Jed Hoyer, now the Cubs' general manager, hired Ausmus as a special assistant with the Padres before the 2011 season shortly after he had retired as a player.

The article quotes Royals bullpen coach Doug Henry, a former teammate of Ausmus' in Houston, praising Ausmus for his leadership skills on the field. That's all well and good, and Henry also cites the success of Mike Matheny with the Cardinals with no managerial experience. (The Cardinals players might have something to do with that.)

The thing that makes me a little cautious about Ausmus is his previous association with Jed Hoyer. Not that something like that should disqualify anyone, but what would be wrong with a general manager, or President of Baseball Operations in the case of Theo Epstein, hiring someone qualified who he hasn't worked with before? Yes, yes, I understand, familiarity, knowing each other, etc. -- but just as in any business, sometimes cronyism isn't the way to go. As we know, Dale Sveum was known to Theo & Co. from being a Red Sox coach, and that didn't work out too well.

Theo & Co. have also stated that speaking Spanish and relating to the Latino players in the organization will be important criteria for the new manager and his coaching staff. I don't know if Ausmus speaks Spanish, and certainly he could hire Latino coaches. It seems to me, though, that it might be more important to have the manager be Latino or fluent in Spanish; that might mean a different level of respect from the players to have a native Spanish speaker be the top guy. Or maybe it doesn't matter -- just brainstorming a bit here. Martinez is the guy I'd like to see hired here; to me, the rest don't have a lot to distinguish themselves from each other.

Theo stated that he wanted to have someone in place by the time the GM meetings begin -- that's November 11, a week from Monday. Time's growing short to meet that deadline; I'd expect we'll hear of a hire sometime next week.

Your thoughts, as always, in the comments.

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