Chicago Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde will reportedly interview for the Baltimore Orioles managerial job, marking another potential departure.
If nothing else, the Chicago Cubs offseason to-date has been marked by a turnover, of sorts.
After dismissing hitting coach Chili Davis and addressing manager Joe Maddon‘s contract status (well, not really, but kind of), the team saw Andy Haines join the rival Brewers and pitching coach Jim Hickey resign, citing ‘personal reasons’. Now, the Cubs could be adding yet another name to the list of departed coaches.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, new Baltimore GM Mike Elias will talk to ‘at least six’ candidates in person, one being Hyde. The only other name included in the report? The right-hander man to former Cubs bench coach and current Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez, Chip Hale.
Now, these types of reports are nothing new for Hyde. He previously interviewed for several other managerial vacancies around the league, including Texas, Toronto, Minnesota and Anaheim. He, of course, ultimately fell short in those pursuits, leaving us all to believe he’d return as Maddon’s bench coach in 2019.
About six weeks ago, we broke down some potential replacements for Hyde, including John Farrell and even David Ross. So, given that you can read all about those guys at that link, instead, I want to focus on what yet another coaching staff change could mean for this club.
Change is in the air at Wrigley Field
Last week, I talked about how the writing is on the wall already. And I’m not talking about the chalk-drawn masterpieces that spanned the bricks at 1060 W. Addison a little over two years ago, either.
It’s win or else for Maddon and his young core. Theo Epstein fired a shot across his skipper’s bow last month and, in doing so, gave himself future justification from moving on the game’s highest-paid manager. The game is surging toward no-experience, low-paid skippers. And, you know what?
Just ask the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, the two most recent World Series champions – both of whom ascended to the top of the baseball world with little-to-no managerial experience. Enter someone like Brandon Hyde, who clearly checks a lot of boxes when it comes to what big league clubs are looking for in a manager, but is yet to hold the big job anywhere.
Seeing a new coaching staff (which is essentially what we’re talking about – if Hyde leaves, that means a new hitting coach, assistant hitting coach, pitching coach and bench coach in 2019 – would hardly be a surprise. Had I told you five years ago we’d be in such a position after four years where the Cubs averaged nearly 97 wins annually, you’d have called me insane.
But here we are.
Epstein, the front office and Cubs ownership aren’t resting on their laurels. They want more – as they should. But despite the calls for a new sense of urgency and motivation, the departure of yet another familiar face from this club may prove counterintuitive – and could hurt the team more than it helps.