(WSCR) On the surface, it would appear the Cubs settled with Rick Renteria as their new manager.

The team’s desire to hire Yankees manager Joe Girardi was well documented. But, in the end, Girardi, a Peoria native, decided to stay in New York, leaving the Cubs to move on with their search.

A day after the Cubs officially announced Renteria as the team’s new skipper, general manager Jed Hoyer said the Padres bench coach was their guy all along.

“I think the worst thing people can think is that we weren’t incredibly excited about Rick right away,” Hoyer told 670 The Score on Friday. “We were. He was probably the frontrunner throughout the process, but we did feel the need interview a lot of people. Rick stood the test the entire time and was the frontrunner from Day 1 and frankly was the right guy in the end.

Hoyer explained the hire took so long – 38 days from Dale Sveum’s firing to Renteria’s hiring – partly due to the fact that Renteria underwent hip surgery during the interview process.

Also, the team wanted to be as thorough as possible in their search.

“There was never anyone ahead of him on the list, that’s for sure,” Hoyer said. “He did a great job early on. Obviously, I had background with him and Jason (McLeod) had background with him from San Diego and we thought really highly of him. But it’s a process. We thought the worst thing we could ever do not only for ourselves, but for our fans, was make a hasty hire – go out there one time, talk to him and make a move.”

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