CHICAGO — The Cubs are expected to hire David Ross as their next manager, according to Jon Heyman of MLB.com.
After deciding not to bring back Joe Maddon at the end of the season, the team interviewed a variety of candidates.
Ross, 42, has been an ESPN analyst since his retirement. He has also been a special assistant to the Cubs' baseball operations since 2017.
Heyman said the Ross was the favorite all along. David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 was first to report the story.
The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, and two internal candidates; Mark Loretta and Will Venable.
Ross was signed in 2015 after the blockbuster free agency acquisition of Jon Lester. Ross was Lester's personal catcher for most of 2015 and 2016.
He hit .176 with one home run in 2015, but hit .229 with 10 home runs in 2016.
In his last ever game, Ross hit a home run during game 7 of the World Series.
Theo Epstein remarked that "real change is needed" during his final press conference of the season.
Epstein directly addressed rumors that Ross was a candidate at the time.
“Lack of experience is always a factor, it’s not a determining factor but it’s a significant factor. But, I think there’s ways for that to be overcome… beliefs, skills, personal attributes. Those can outweigh lack of experience, but experience certainly helps,” Epstein said.
Ross was open to the idea of returning to Wrigley.
“I’ve got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit,” Ross said. “I’ve got a lot of thinking to do if this gets presented to me as everyone says will happen. I’m sure waiting for that phone call.”
At this time, it's not known when Ross will officially be introduced.