The Rundown: Dave Martinez Doesn’t Get Rays’ Manager Job, Rizzo Excited About Maddon, Lester to Meet with 2 Teams Next Week

Dave Martinez, longtime Tampa Bay bench coach under Joe Maddon, has been eliminated from consideration for the Rays’ managerial vacancy, according to Marc Topkin.

Pretty surprising, considering the choices have only been narrowed down to three: Kevin Cash (Indians bullpen coach), Raul Ibanez (Royals outfielder/DH), and Don Wakamatsu (former Mariners manager and current Royals bench coach). Martinez couldn’t crack this top three?

I guess the Rays want to start with a clean slate. Team president of baseball operations Matt Silverman told Topkin “we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture.”

The Cubs haven’t finalized their coaching staff. Might new manager Joe Maddon bring along his former bench partner?

I think it’s safe to say Maddon has been waiting to see what happened with Martinez before making any decisions. Martinez will almost surely be moving on from Tampa; we’ll have to wait and see if he’d want to come to Chicago.

Rizzo on Maddon, free agency, Renteria

Anthony Rizzo, in town for a charity event, told reporters he has spoken with new manager Joe Maddon, and it’s sounding like he’s pretty excited.

“It’s just the whole philosophy of not overworking and not doing too much and getting your work in, in a professional manner is something I always preach on,” Rizzo told Jesse Rogers on the subject of Maddon. “You have to stay fresh in this game. That’s what I believe in. And the family style he brings is going to be unbelievable.”

He also said he hasn’t reached out to any potential free agents. (Maybe going to have to start calling him Derrick Rozo now.) But in all seriousness, Maddon has already talked about recruiting free agents himself.

One person Rizzo did call, however? Former manager Rick Renteria, to wish him well shortly after he was fired. Rizzo seems like a classy guy, which makes it that much more fun to root for him.

Other notes

* The Cubs have had discussions with the Diamondbacks about catcher Miguel Montero, according to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro. The Cubs have been linked to Montero previously since missing out on free agent Russell Martin, but I’m still not sure if I like him as an option.

* Jon Lester will be meeting with at least two teams next week, WEEI’s Rob Bradford writes. Lester, the top free agent pitching target for the Cubs, met with the Red Sox, Braves and Cubs this past week. The Cardinals have been rumored to be interested, so it’s possible they’re one of the teams.

* The White Sox have agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal with 35-year-old first baseman Adam LaRoche.  With the loss of Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn, LaRoche will help fill that void. He had a pretty nice year with the Nationals in 2014, hitting .259/.362/.455 with 26 home runs. A couple more shrewd moves, such as a starting pitcher and another bullpen arm, and the White Sox could be an interesting team next season. Baseball in Chicago is always more fun when both sides of town are having some success.

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