Sources: Cubs hiring David Ross as manager

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs are hiring David Ross to be their new manager, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. The official announcement is expected to come on Thursday.

Ross, 42, beat out five other candidates to replace Joe Maddon, who was hired by the Angels. Ross played under Maddon in 2015 and 2016, helping the Cubs to a World Series title before becoming a member of the team’s front office and an ESPN baseball analyst.

He’ll be asked to manage several players he once called teammates, including Kris Bryant.

“I’ve always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here,” Bryant said in late September. “Yeah, it was goofy, it was fun, it was energetic, but when he needed to tell you something, he let you hear it. From the very get-go, I felt like this guy will be a manager someday.”

“I think it’s one of the best jobs in baseball,” Ross said recently. “I’ve got a lot of close ties with those guys. … I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit. “

Other candidates — including Cubs first-base coach Will Venable, bench coach Mark Loretta, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Astros bench coach Joe Espada — have been informed of the decision. Espada was called in for a second interview on Sunday, which included a mock news conference, according to a source. Ross did the same on Monday, and he performed as expected: extremely well, the source said.

Ross was a Game 7 hero for the Cubs in 2016, hitting a World Series home run before calling it quits on his career. He also won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox and played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves.

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