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Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez final candidate to interview for Dodgers job

Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez met with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the general managers meetings Wednesday afternoon to interview for their managerial vacancy.

He was the final one of nine candidates to interview in the first round of the process, said Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who hoped to quickly narrow the field to “three or four guys” and complete the hiring process by next month’s winter meetings.

Martinez has spent the last seven years as manager Joe Maddon’s bench coach, including six with the Tampa Bay Rays, when current Dodgers president Andrew Friedman was the Rays’ GM.

Zaidi downplayed any potential inside track Martinez might have based on his relationship with Friedman.

“We’ve giving every guy the same opportunity to make an impression and see if there’s a match philosophically in what we’re looking for and the kind of opportunity they’re looking for,” Zaidi said. “It’s a real process.”

It’s also believed to be complicated by several of the Dodgers’ owners being involved in the hiring for the last managerial vacancy in the majors this winter.

The Cubs are preparing for the possibility of being forced to replace their one-year bench coach.

“Davey’s very deserving of that opportunity,” team president Theo Epstein said. “As much as I’d hate to lose him, I hope he does well and gets the job. He’s a big part of what we have going on here and very experienced. I think it’s inevitable that someday he’ll get that opportunity.”