Cubs 3B coach Will Venable ‘committed’ to Cubs pending Astros decision on manager search

Venable, in his third season on the Cubs’ coaching staff, interviewed with the scandal-embattled Astros on Friday.

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Venable near the end of his playing career.

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

The only question Cubs third-base coach Will Venable got from fans during his scheduled panel at the Cubs Convention on Saturday was the only question new manager David Ross seemed to want to ask him too:

“Are you planning to leave the Cubs?”

Venable, who interviewed with the scandal-embattled Astros on Friday for their sudden managerial vacancy, told the fan he was not planning to leave, but that answer could change if he’s actually offered what might be the most challenging managing job in baseball for the next one to step into it.

“Obviously, you have to take opportunities seriously and have to think about those things,” Venable said when talking to reporters after the fan Q-and-A session. “I’m a Chicago Cub right now. Until that changes, I’m superexcited to be here, committed to this team, and until somebody gives me an opportunity to have a different job, this is where I’m at and I plan on being here for the year.”

Veteran managers such as Buck Showalter, John Gibbons and Dusty Baker have been linked to the Astros’ opening — created when A.J. Hinch and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year and subsequently fired as part of the fallout of a sign-stealing scheme during their World Series-winning playoff run of 2017.

“I’m really sensitive to the fact that these guys are -going through some serious stuff over there,” said Venable, who also interviewed for manager vacancies with the Cubs and Giants this winter. “Obviously, part of the process is -understanding where they’re at. But it is their process and things that they’re going through.”

Venable has spent a year as a special assistant in the Cubs’ front office and two on the coaching staff since he retired as a player after the 2016 -season.

“I really don’t have any comment on the interview process itself,” he said, “other than I was honored that they asked me to come down and I enjoyed my time there.”

Venable, who spent part of his childhood around big-league ballparks in the 1980s and early ’90s when his dad, Max, played, wouldn’t comment on what his decision might be if offered the chance to take the Astros’ job, calling it a “hypothetical at this point.”

For now, he said, he appreciates getting the chance to gain experience through the interview processes this winter.

The sign-stealing scandal and investigation has extended to the Red Sox, cost three managers their jobs in the last week (also Boston’s Alex Cora and the Mets’ Carlos Beltran) and blown up in recent days to include a flurry of additional accusations and Twitter sleuthing over possible electronic sign-stealing and signaling by the Astros through 2019.

“It’s a pretty significant scandal that we’re all witnessing,” Venable said. “And now even people who don’t have an -intimate relationship with the game are interested in it.

“I know the Astros are going to work hard to figure it out, and so is the rest of baseball.”

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