Mueller to coach Cubs?

November, 12, 2013
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Bill Mueller could be in line for a position on new manager Rick Renteria's staff, according to a source familiar with the situation. Mueller is a former hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is a possibility to fill that role for the Cubs.

The source also believes Renteria will bring "at most two coaches with him from San Diego and probably just one." It's most likely that coach will not come from the major league staff. Roving minor league instructor Gary Jones is the leading candidate to accompany Renteria to Chicago, according to the source.

Mueller played for the Cubs in 2001-02, eventually making his way to Boston from 2003 to '05, where the current Cubs front office got to know him. He was the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers for a short time after retiring and still works for the Dodgers.

"As an organization it's pretty obvious we have to get on base more and that's something we're going to be talking about in those hitting coach interviews," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday.

Mueller's career on-base percentage (.373) would rank 13th all-time for third basemen if he qualified.

Jones is a former free-agent signee of the Cubs in 1982, playing seven years in the minor leagues for Chicago and Oakland. He has coaching ties to Boston as well.

Among the criteria for coaches is the ability to speak Spanish. One advantage Renteria had over other candidates is that he's bilingual. The Cubs want more of a Latin-American presence on their staff.

"It was something we fell short of on the previous staff," Hoyer said. "We do have a lot of very good Spanish-speaking players coming up through the system, sometimes a coach can get through better if he can speak in his native language. In general, we didn't do a good enough job last time, we need to make sure we address that."

The Cubs will not make any official announcement on coaches until all are in place, which should happen by the end of the next week.

Moving on from Lovullo

Both the Cubs and Boston Red Sox want to move on from the situation that prevented Chicago from interviewing Red Sox coach Torey Lovullo while the Cubs were searching for a manager.

The Red Sox enforced an agreement that was made when Chicago hired Theo Epstein in 2011 preventing him from hiring Red Sox employees for three years. Sources indicate the Cubs thought Boston would waive that agreement for Lovullo to interview for a managerial position. It's believed ownership decided to enforce the letter of the agreement, preventing the Cubs from even asking.

"Torey is a great coach and will make a fine manager someday," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said on Tuesday.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for and ESPN Radio 1000.



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