(WSCR) – There has been much speculation as to who would take over the Cubs’ managerial job for next season. Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg, Eric Wedge and Joe Girardi appear to be the most commonly mentioned names.

As recently as today, Wedge was rumored to be in contention for the Cubs’ job. Phil Rogers, of the Chicago Tribune, had reported that Wedge has told confidants that Cubs GM Jim Hendry would hire him if Girardi wasn’t available.

However, Wedge is now the new manager of the Seattle Mariners, charged with rebuilding a franchise coming off its second 101-loss season in the last three years.

The Mariners officially announced Wedge as their seventh manager since 2003 on Monday. He will be formally introduced at a news conference Tuesday.

Wedge replaces Don Wakamatsu, who was fired in August with Seattle 28 games under .500 and after less than two seasons of managerial experience. Daren Brown took over as interim manager following Wakamatsu’s firing, but was never believed to be a serious candidate for the permanent position.

Wedge spent last season out of baseball following seven years as manager in Cleveland.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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