The Cubs have a new third-base coach, per Buster Olney of ESPN:
Willie Harris, longtime utilityman, is expected to be the Cubs' third base coach.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 8, 2020
Confirmed here (though not yet announced by the team):
Willie Harris will be the Cubs' new 3B coach, source confirms. Nothing official from the team yet. The job opened up when Will Venable left to be the new Red Sox bench coach. @Buster_ESPN first to report.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 8, 2020
Olney is right about “longtime” — Harris spent 12 years in the major leagues and just twice had 400 or more plate appearances in a season. He was a 24th-round pick of the Orioles in 1999 and played most of his career with the White Sox (2002-05), getting a World Series ring with them, and the Nationals (2008-11). He also played for the Orioles, Red Sox, Braves and Reds. There doesn’t seem to be any particular connection between Harris and David Ross, or anyone in the Cubs front office, though Jed Hoyer would have been with Boston when Harris played for them (2006).
Harris is 42 and his coaching/managing experience consists of one year managing the Triple-A Richmond Flying Squirrels in the Braves organization (2018) and the last two years as the baserunning/outfield coordinator in the Reds organization.
Seems like a reasonably good hire to me. The best third-base coaches are the ones you never hear about during the season. Hopefully he can work with Cubs players on fielding and baserunning, too.
Willie Harris, Cubs new third-base coach!
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