Dave Martinez is lauded as an integral part of the Tampa Bay Rays success over the past few years. Joe Maddon‘s right-hand man and the Rays’ bench coach has a key role with the alignment of the defense, baserunning decisions, and bunting instruction. Martinez has been talked about as a candidate for managerial openings in the past, but he has yet to secure a job. Will that change this year?
In terms of experience, Martinez has little more to do other than being an actual manager. Martinez played in the big leagues for 16 years from the time he was 21 years old to when he was 36. He has since spent 7 years as a bench coach for the Rays, a position that commonly leads into managing jobs and one that has a great deal of responsibility for in-game decisions. Prior to that he had also served as a spring training instructor for the Rays for two years. Some teams want their managerial candidates to have previous managing experience, and Martinez is at a disadvantage because he does not have any. However he does have plenty of experience in baseball outside of managing, and that should attract teams that are looking for an “up-and-coming” manager.
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Martinez is no stranger to the managerial hiring process. In past years he has been interviewed for managerial openings with the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, and Cleveland Indians. The Astros just recently fired their manager, Bo Porter, and, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Martinez could once again be a candidate for the job. Martinez himself says he has not yet been contacted by the Astros, but that he would be interested if the opportunity came along. Regardless Martinez is once again being talked about as a candidate for a manger position- and that is only with one job open. Inevitably more managers will get fired at the conclusion of the season, and it is likely that Martinez’s name will at least be mentioned along with those jobs as well.
Dave Martinez has been on the “manager prospect” map for some time, and this year is going to be no different. For whatever reason he has not yet been given a job despite multiple interviews, but he is a highly respected coach and it seems inevitable that he will get a manager job at some point. Whether that is this offseason remains to be seen, but we do know that once again he will at least receive serious consideration for jobs across baseball.