The Cubs’ list of candidates for their managerial vacancy dropped by one when Carlos Beltran declined the team’s request to interview for the job, the nine-time All-Star outfielder confirmed to reporters before the Astros-Yankees playoff game Sunday.
Beltran, a special assistant for the Yankees, was one of six candidates the Cubs had on an active list last week. Late in the week, they still hoped he would agree to the interview. Dodgers front office assistant Raul Ibanez also had declined by then (as he did with the Angels).
Beltran, who played for seven teams in a 20-year career, also confirmed during his session with reporters that he had declined to interview for the Padres’ opening. He reportedly interviewed with the Mets last week.
The Cubs have interviewed four candidates for their opening, including three last week: Cubs first-base coach Will Venable on Monday, former Yankees manager and Cubs catcher Joe Girardi on Wednesday and presumptive favorite David Ross — a Cubs front-office assistant — on Thursday.
Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta interviewed the previous week. The Cubs also hope to interview Astros bench coach Joe Espada when the team’s postseason schedule allows.
Carlos Beltrán said he was approached by the Padres and Cubs to interview for their managerial vacancies, but that he declined because he's focused on his job with the Yankees as special advisor to GM Brian Cashman. https://t.co/ayBJhWADm4 pic.twitter.com/hW9ASOS9Mq— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) October 13, 2019
Barring an addition to their list, Girardi is the only one of the Cubs’ candidates with major-league managing experience and is by far the highest-profile name on the list.
If their eight-hour interview with him was an indication of serious interest, they could wind up in a bidding war if they pursue him. The Mets also have interviewed the 2006 National League Manager of the Year (with the Marlins) and 2009 World Series winner (Yankees).
The Phillies also reportedly are targeting Girardi, among a handful of available veteran options that are said to include Buck Showalter and former Cubs manager Dusty Baker. Recently fired Cubs manager Joe Maddon could join that mix.
Maddon also is strongly linked to the opening with the Angels, with whom he has spent most of his professional baseball career as a minor-league player, minor-league instructor, manager and major-league coach.
It’s unclear how Maddon’s interest in the job might be affected by the recent revelations of a possible opiates-abuse problem in the Angels’ clubhouse in the wake of pitcher Tyler Skaggs drug-related death July 1.