The Chicago Cubs' search to replace manager Joe Maddon, whose contract was not renewed heading into the 2020 season, is ongoing. Now you can add one more notable candidate to the list: former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian tweets that the Cubs are expected to interview Kapler this week.
Kapler, 44, lasted two seasons in Philly, and over that span he went 161-163 with a third-place finish in the NL East followed by a fourth-place finish. This season, the Phillies went 81-81 despite an active offseason that saw them add names like Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, and David Robertson to the fold. In part because of injuries, the Phillies failed to meet expectations, and for a time it looked like Kapler would survive with his job intact. Following a somewhat lengthy process of evaluation, however, he was let go last week.
Kapler in his first season endured multiple dugout gaffes that made his new-school approach something of a punchline. He avoided such storylines in his second season, for the most part, but disappointment in the standings was too much to overcome.
As for the Cubs, they're coming off a highly successful five-year run with Maddon that saw them win the World Series in 2016, make the playoffs four times, and win 471 regular season games over that span. In 2019, however, the Cubs slipped to third place and won just 84 games despite arguably having the most talented roster in the NL Central. Team president Theo Epstein determined a change in approach in the dugout was needed, and he opted to let Maddon walk ahead of what should be an active offseason on the north side of Chicago.
While Maddon is heavily rumored to be the favorite to replace Brad Ausmus as Angels manager, the Cubs are said to be considering candidates like Joe Girardi, David Ross, Sam Fuld, and Astros bench coach Joe Espada, in addition to in-house candidates Mark Loretta and Will Venable. Now you can add Kapler's name to the list. The Giants are also said to be interested in Kapler for their managerial vacancy.