The Rundown: Dave Martinez Joins Cubs’ Coaching Staff, Wrigley Renovation Changes Approved, Early Mock 2015 Draft

The Cubs have — finally — finalized their coaching staff.

After a great deal of speculation, Dave Martinez has been named bench coach. Martinez is a former Cubs player and served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Tampa Bay for seven season.

When Maddon came to Chicago in late October, Martinez became a candidate to take over the Rays’ managerial vacancy. But Tampa Bay clearly wanted to go in a different direction, and Martinez was not even included as a final-three candidate.

As soon as Maddon opted out, I figured Martinez becoming bench coach was a possibility. The Cubs were very deliberate in not finalizing their coaching staff after Maddon was hired and it was obvious they wanted to wait and see what happened with Martinez before doing so.

To make room on the staff, recently hired Doug Dascenzo was relegated from first-base coach to outfield and baserunning coordinator for both the major and minor leagues. Former Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde will take over as first-base coach.

I’m a little bummed about Dascenzo losing his first-base coach position — admittedly for meatball, nostalgic reasons. Dascenzo was a favorite Cubs player of mine while I was growing up.

I figured it would have been third-base coach Gary Jones who would be removed from the staff, but it was Dascenzo instead. But don’t worry, everyone, I think I’ll get over it.

Meanwhile, the Cubs coaching staff is looking really solid right now.

Renovation changes approved

The Cubs presented their revised Wrigley Field renovation plan yesterday and it was approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, according to Danny Ecker.

The Cubs have decided to decrease the number of signs from 7 to 6 in hopes of receiving a $75 million tax credit. The removed sign would have been in left-center field, and the Cubs also reduced the size of the right-field video board. The larger video board, in left field, will be moved closer to the main scoreboard.

Check out Ecker’s Twitter timeline for some interesting notes from the meeting with the committee. One includes an accusation from a Rooftop owner that Crane Kenney told the owners in July that he could block their views and put them out of business.

Other notes

* Jim Callis and Jonathon May have released a very early 2015 mock draft. For the Cubs, who pick ninth, Callis picks high school LHP Kolby Allard, who could be the best high school pitcher in the draft. Mayo selects RHP Kyle Cody from Kentucky. Will this be the year the Cubs finally draft a pitcher in the first round? I’m not so sure. This is a lower draft spot than they’ve had in a couple years, so maybe that will lead them to a pitcher. I could still see them going with a bat, however. Safer.

* Bruce Levine reports that new naming rights for Wrigley Field are not being considered, despite the possibility the price reaching $40 million a year. I think it’s only a matter of time before this happens, and I probably won’t mind as much as a lot of people will. I’m in favor of anything that helps the Cubs win the World Series.

* David Ortiz says that Jon Lester was “devastated” when Lester was traded to Oakland last season, writes Rob Bradford. Ortiz said the Red Sox need to step up and make the free-agent pitcher happy.

* Peter Gammons tweeted out a series of thoughts about Jon Lester and the Dogers, as well as Lester possibly feeling “insulted” by the Red Sox’s offers so far:

We’ve heard that Lester’s camp would like to make a decision before the Winter Meetings. That may not happen, however, according to this tweet from Ken Rosenthal:

I was really hoping we’d hear something definitive today. I’m ready for the Lester sweepstakes to be resolved.

* New Single-A affiliate, the South Bend Cubs, unveiled a new logo yesterday:

I don’t really love the new main logo, but I do dig the hats.

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