Former Cubs player Dave Martinez returned to Wrigley Field Thursday, hoping to come back again as manager.
The club confirmed that Martinez had an all-day meeting with team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer at the ballpark. Earlier this week, the Cubs were in California to interview Rick Renteria, the San Diego Padres' bench coach.
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This could represent the end of Phase 1 of the Cubs' managerial search, which began earlier this month when they fired Dale Sveum after two years on the job.
As he promised, Epstein has kept this year's search private. In the fall of 2011, when he took over as team president, Epstein trotted out candidates before the media for news conferences as part of their job interviews.
That has not been the case this year, as Epstein and Hoyer have interviewed A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Renteria and Martinez. Former Cubs player and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi, perhaps Epstein's top target, did not give the Cubs a chance to talk, as he ended up signing a four-year contract extension to stay at Yankee Stadium.
At this point, Epstein and Hoyer could step back and assess the situation after four interviews and decide if any second sessions are needed. Epstein said when he fired Sveum that he hoped to have a new man in place by mid-November's general managers meetings.
Martinez, 49, has been the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays and manager Joe Maddon since 2008. He played for the Cubs from 1986 through part of the 1988 season and again for part of the 2000 season. Martinez was with the White Sox as a player from 1995-97.