CHICAGO -- The reckoning Cubs President Theo Epstein threatened last winter if the team underachieved in 2019 is well underway, with new manager David Ross in place and his coaching staff under construction.
As the general managers meetings begin Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., Epstein will begin to focus more on the reconstruction of the Cubs roster. Rumors of big-name departures have begun with an ESPN report that the Cubs are shopping catcher Willson Contreras.
Contreras won't be alone. It's just the beginning of what figures to be a wild offseason filled with speculation, an expected byproduct of the Cubs' failure to make the postseason despite having the second-highest payroll in baseball.
But first things first. Epstein reportedly reached an agreement with former Padres manager Andy Green to serve as Ross' bench coach, replacing Mark Loretta. Epstein was unavailable for comment, but he said after Ross' introductory news conference Oct. 28 that the Cubs were seeking someone with managerial experience.
"It's important, given David's lack of experience managing, to have someone who has either managed or been a bench coach to help him, as he said, to stay a step ahead early on in the course of the game as he grows into the job," Epstein said. "That would make a lot of sense."
The Cubs have completely overhauled the coaching staff since the end of 2018, when they fired hitting coach Chili Davis and pitching coach Jim Hickey after one season and bench coach Brandon Hyde left to manage the Orioles.
Already this offseason they've waved goodbye to manager Joe Maddon, Loretta, third base coach Brian Butterfield, bullpen coach Lester Strode and strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss. Butterfield and Buss have joined Maddon on the Angels coaching staff.
Green is the second straight Cubs bench coach who last worked for the Padres. Loretta was a special assistant in the Padres baseball operations department the previous nine seasons. Incoming bullpen coach Chris Young also started out as a scout with the Padres when Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer was the GM in San Diego.
Rick Renteria was the Padres bench coach when Epstein hired him to manage the Cubs after the 2013 season. Renteria lasted one year before Maddon replaced him.
The Padres fired Green near the end of the 2019 season during the team's second-half free-fall. Originally signed to a three-year deal in 2016 to steer a rebuild, he received an extension through 2021 during the 2017 season, meaning the Padres still will be paying him the next two seasons.