Focus is on Rick Renteria as Cubs hit 'final stages' of search

The Cubs appear to be looking closely at Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as they enter what has been described as the "final stages" of their search for a new manager.

Renteria looks like a strong favorite, though there's no word that anything's been decided.

Renteria is said to most closely match what they are looking for as a teacher of young players, as the Cubs look to get the most out of a stash of high-end young players and prospects, including big-leaguers Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo and minor leaguers Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and others.

As a rebuilding team with many top prospects, the Cubs have been seeking a teacher, and Renteria fits their needs. Renteria is a longtime minor-league manager who also managed Mexico in the WBC.

The Cubs should have a manager in place in the next few days, people familiar with the situation say.

Renteria has worked under the well-respected Padres manager Bud Black, and received high grades for his assistance with young players. He also knows Cubs GM Jed Hoyer from Hoyer's days in San Diego.

The Cubs also have been considering Padres executive A.J. Hinch, the former Diamondbacks executive credited as a manager and farm director for developing many future stars, including Max Scherzer, Miguel Montero and several others. They sought to interview Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, but there's no word the Red Sox allowed the Cubs to ask permission, and there was a no-compete clause from when Theo Epstein left to become Cubs president two years ago.

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