While the Cubs wait for Joe Girardi to make his decision, they cast their managerial net far and wide.
Team sources confirmed Monday that they interviewed former Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch last week for the vacant job at Wrigley Field.
On Monday, former Cleveland and Washington manager Manny Acta was interviewed. The team also will talk with San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria either later this week or early next week.
Since firing Dale Sveum as manager last week, the Cubs have been keeping an eye on the situation with the New York Yankees, who are negotiating a contract extension with current manager Girardi, a former Cubs catcher.
Girardi has the qualifications that team president Theo Epstein mentioned last week: experience as a major-league coach or manager or strong leadership skills.
However, the Cubs cannot afford to sit around and wait, given that Girardi's current deal with New York runs until the end of this month.
Perhaps the most intriguing person on the current list is Renteria. The former major-league infielder, who turns 52 on Christmas Day, is highly regarded in San Diego, where he has worked for manager Bud Black.
Those around the Padres say Renteria is highly knowledgeable and even "fiery." He served as manager of Team Mexico during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Renteria, who was born in Harbor City, Calif., is of Mexican-American heritage. He managed the Kane County Cougars in 1999.
Equally important is that Renteria and Acta both are bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. For the last two seasons, the Cubs did not have a Spanish-speaking person on the full-time coaching staff. Franklin Font was a coaching assistant, but he was not in uniform in the dugout during games.
Acta, 44, is from the Dominican Republic. He managed the Washington Nationals from 2007 through part of the 2009 season and the Cleveland Indians from 2010 through most of the 2012 season. He compiled a managerial record of 372-518 (. 418).
Hinch, 39, managed the Diamondbacks for part of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, compiling a record of 89-123 (. 420). He was a catcher in the major leagues from 1998-2004 with the Athletics, Royals, Tigers and Phillies.
He currently serves as vice president of professional scouting for the Padres. He replaced Bob Melvin as manager of the Diamondbacks even though he had not managed or coached before that. When Hinch was fired in Arizona, the club cited "a lot of underperforming" areas of concern on the team.
The Cubs would like to have their manager in place by next month's general managers meetings.
When they hired Sveum in 2011, Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer also had most of the candidates meet the media after their formal job interviews. Epstein said last week the Cubs would take a more "private" approach this time around, and so far, no news conferences have been planned for the candidates.
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