The long-rumored Dodgers' interest in Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez will reportedly come to fruition next week, with the club set to interview Martinez for their vacant managerial job, per Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Martinez was with the Rays every year that current Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was in Tampa Bay, starting in 2006-2007 as a spring training instructor, then serving as bench coach from 2008-2014 under manager Joe Maddon.
Martinez interviewed for the Rays' manager job last winter when Maddon left for the Cubs. But when Tampa Bay eventually settled on Kevin Cash, Martinez went to Chicago to serve an eighth season as bench coach under Maddon.
It is unknown exactly when and where the interview of Martinez will take place, though the general managers meetings take place from Monday to Thursday in Boca Raton, Fla. Buster Olney of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Dodgers would interview some managerial candidates at the GM meetings.
In addition to in-house candidates Gabe Kapler, Tim Wallach and Ron Roenicke, the Dodgers have also interviewed Padres bench coach Dave Roberts and Tigers broadcaster and former Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson for the job, with others on the docket including former Padres manager Bud Black, Mets bench coach Bob Geren and University of Nebraska manager Darin Erstad.
The Dodgers currently have the only managerial opening in MLB.
Richard Justice of MLB.com says the wide net the Dodgers are casting in their search is right in line with Friedman's style:
As Friedman goes down an interview list that now has at least 10 names on it, he is going to ask question after question, picking brains, exploring ideas. In doing this, he may have some of his beliefs challenged. Friedman may find out that another organization does something better than the Dodgers.
This is one of the lessons Friedman brought to baseball from his time on Wall Street. He was taught to gather as much information as humanly possible and to keep an open mind about what might be useful. As one of Friedman's former co-workers said, "Andrew never passes up an opportunity to gather information."
Friedman did this type of thing when he hired Joe Maddon to manage the Rays in 2005. Friedman's list included at least 10 names, from Bobby Valentine and Joe Girardi to Terry Pendleton, Bob McLaren and Alan Trammell.
As for Martinez, his apprenticeship under Maddon has groomed the bench coach for a managerial role. Just ask Maddon.
"He understands all the numbers that are out there. He understands people. He’s really good at tough conversations. He’s very straight up, straightforward and upfront," Maddon said in October, per Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago. "He’s absolutely ready. Some team’s going to get lucky."