Rick Renteria is readying for Cub duty…
The 51-year-old Mexican American baseball coach, currently serving as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres, will soon be serving as the new manager for the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN.com sources.
Renteria has been the bench coach for the Padres since 2011 after becoming a major league coach in 2008. He played infield for parts of five major league seasons after being drafted 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1980.
Renteria, who retired as a player in 1996 while with the Mexico City Reds, beat out A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Dave Martinez and Eric Wedge for the job. A fifth candidate, Brad Ausmus, was hired by the Detroit Tigers earlier in the week.
Renteria is known as a hands-on teacher and a strong communicator. His ability to speak Spanish is believed to be a plus for the Cubs. Sources familiar with the process say the team was intent on hiring a Latin-American manager and/or coaches, something lacking on the previous coaching staff.
Chicago has several key players of Latin-American descent, including shortstop Starlin Castro, who regressed under former manager Dale Sveum.
“In order for us to win with this group — and win consistently — we must have the best possible environment for young players to learn, develop and thrive at the major league level,” said team representatives after Sveum was fired.