David Ross interested in Cubs coaching job, succeeding Joe Maddon - Sports Illustrated

Former Cubs catcher David Ross would be interested in succeeding Joe Maddon and managing his former team if Chicago approached him with an offer.

Ross, who is considered a leading candidate to land Maddon's old job, was asked about the opportunity on Sunday's Baseball Tonight on ESPN, where he is currently an analyst.

"I think it's one of the best jobs in baseball," Ross said, per ESPN. "I've got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit.

"The rumors are flattering. It makes you think about a lot of things," he added. "I've got a nice job here at ESPN that I enjoy and gives me a lot of free time with my three kids."

Ross, 42, played the final two seasons of his career with the Cubs and won a World Series with the team in 2016. He also works for the Cubs as a front office special assistant.

The Cubs are searching for a new manager following Maddon's departure after five seasons with the team. Chicago will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014, the season before Maddon got the job. The Cubs were in first place this season as late as Aug. 22 but have gone 11–15 in September, losing nine in a row to knock them out of postseason contention.

Maddon finished his five years in Chicago with a record of 471-339 after the Cardinals routed the Cubs, 9-0, on Sunday to clinch the NL Central.

Ross still has close ties with several of Chicago's current players, many of whom would not be shocked if he got the call.

"I've always looked at Rossy as a coach when he played here," third baseman Kris Bryant said, per ESPN. "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 some day for sure."

Other candidates for the opening include Cubs bench coach Mark Loretta, Cubs special assistant Kevin Youkilis, and MLB Network analyst Mark DeRosa.