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The Cubs' Manager Search: What's Next?

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Theo Epstein says he wants the Cubs' managerial opening filled by the general managers' meetings, which are about four weeks away.

J. Meric

Now that Joe Girardi is no longer a candidate for the Cubs' managerial slot, the choices appear to have been narrowed down to four, according to this cubs.com article: former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch.

While each of these men has points in his favor -- and for the most part, those seem to have to do with player development and working with young players -- there are factors weighing against all of them, too.

Martinez has been interviewed for several managerial openings but has yet to receive an offer to manage. Maybe the situations weren't right; maybe he doesn't interview well. It does raise the question: "If he's such a good candidate, why has he never gotten a job?" I will give Martinez credit for this: as a former Cubs player, he knows well what it is like playing in Wrigley Field, knows the fanbase, understands local media (he also played three years for the White Sox). That's a plus for anyone taking this job, as Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella discovered.

Acta has been fired twice as a manager, and there have been rumors -- unsubstantiated, I will point out -- that he "lost the clubhouse" in Cleveland. That's something that would have to be investigated by true due diligence on Theo's part.

Hinch was fired in Arizona and in general, his tenure there wasn't viewed favorably and to me, at least, he seems better-suited to front-office work than being a field manager.

Renteria is an unknown quantity to most of us here, though he has been praised by many baseball people for his work with young players in the Padres organization and for his work with Team Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He was interviewed by Theo on Monday.

I guess what I'm saying is that there doesn't seem to be anyone who really distinguishes himself as "the guy" on that list of four. If I absolutely had to choose one of the four, I suppose I'd go with Martinez, for his Chicago experience and because he's worked under Joe Maddon, one of the best in the business, for the last six years.

As I wrote last week, I'd still like to see the Cubs at least kick the tires on Tony Pena, and I'm not sure why they aren't at least looking at Mike Maddux, who was a candidate two years ago.

Who's your choice? Do you want one of the named four? Or someone not named here?