By GORDON WITTENMYER
The Cubs have a conference call planned Thursday to introduce new manager Rick Renteria after reaching agreement with the former San Diego Padres bench coach Wednesday to replace Dale Sveum.
Renteria signed a three-year deal.
Renteria, 51, has been the favorite since early in the five-week process. Final details progressed quickly this week after the Boston Red Sox refused to allow the Cubs to interview their bench coach, Torey Lovullo, following their World Series championships.
Renteria, who hasn’t yet been cleared to travel for a press conference after hip surgery last month, earned high marks from the Cubs’ front office for his ability to work with young players, in particular young Latin players.
The Cubs also gave extended looks late in the process to Padres assistant general manager A.J. Hinch, veteran manager Eric Wedge and former Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus (since hired for the Detroit Tigers’ managing job).
The Cubs also interviewed Tampa Bay bench coach Dave Martinez and former Cleveland and Washington manager Manny Acta.