Theo Epstein confirms David Ross is on list of Cubs managerial candidates, plus more on search


Theo Epstein acknowledged Monday that former Cubs catcher David Ross is on the team’s list of candidates to replace former manager Joe Maddon.

“He’s on our broad list of candidates. He’s one of many candidates,” Epstein said at Monday’s end-of-season press conference.

Ross spent two seasons on the North Side, helping the Cubs win the 2016 World Series. He retired after that season, joining ESPN as an analyst and the Cubs front office as a special assistant to baseball operations.

Following the Cubs' decision to part ways with Joe Maddon, Ross said the team's managerial opening is something he thinks he'd be interested in.

"I think it's one of the best jobs in baseball," Ross said on ESPN's Baseball Tonight on Sunday. "I've got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit."

Epstein didn't specifically name other possible candidates on Monday, though Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta could also be in the mix.

"Our coaching staff, we’re going to meet with them tomorrow," Epstein said. "But I’ll say, as we started to assemble our original list here, there’s at least one member of the current coaching staff that we’d have interest in talking to as a candidate."

Ross and Loretta both have zero experience managing a big league team. While Epstein said that experience is important, it's not a determing factor when hiring a manager. The same can be said about Ross' past connection to the Cubs as a member of the 2016 team.

"I always have greater comfort level hiring for roles in which the person has done the role before, especially with manager," Epstein said. "I think there are ways for that to be overcome. There’s a lot of different ways to get experience in this game. Beliefs, skills, personal attributes, those can outweigh a lack of experience, but experience certainly helps.

“David Ross has a lot of great things going for him, I would say. His connection to the players on this team, and especially his connection to the 2016 team, are not necessarily assets that distinguish him. Those are not necessarily things that are gonna be important to us.

“I think Rossy is a really attractive candidate, and he’s gonna be evaluated on the merits, what he can bring to the table as a major league manager given his skills, given his experiences, given his world-view, given what he knows about winning, all those things.”

In fairness, Epstein also said that Ross' past with the Cubs certainly is no detriment to his chances, either. However, the Cubs want to do their due diligence in their search rather than jumping at the first familiar name.

"We haven’t called to ask for permission on anybody, but I think we’re full speed ahead," Epstein said. "We’re not going to drag this out any longer than it needs to be, but we also want to be thorough.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.
Contact Us