ESPN baseball analyst David Ross is set to become the latest former player to go from the booth to the manager's office. The Chicago Cubs are hiring Ross as their next skipper.
A well-respected former catcher and two-time World Series champion, Ross has served as a color analyst for ESPN since his retirement after the 2016 season.
He spent 2015 and 2016 with the Cubs, hitting a home run in the team's title-clinching win in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Overall, Ross spent 15 seasons in the big leagues with seven different franchises.
NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan and MLB Network's Jon Heyman have been on top of the pending Ross hire this morning.
With the hiring of Ross, the Cubs are now going in the direction the New York Yankees went when they tabbed Aaron Boone as their manager following the 2017 season. Like Ross, Boone was a beloved former player for the organization but had never managed before and was working for ESPN.
While there's always inherent risk in hiring someone without coaching experience, Ross was by all accounts well-liked in the clubhouse during his two years in Chicago. He already has strong connections with many players on the current roster, which is key as the Cubs go through a likely transition period.
In 2019, for the first time in five years, Chicago missed the postseason. The Cubs now face an offseason full of questions about how they will retool their roster moving forward.
Step one has been taken care of with the hiring of Ross.