Cubs name Harris third-base coach

December 16th, 2020

CHICAGO -- Manager David Ross has completed his coaching staff for 2021, hiring Willie Harris as his third-base coach, the club announced Wednesday.

The job was vacated earlier this offseason, when Will Venable left the Cubs to become the bench coach for the Red Sox under manager Alex Cora. In addition to third-base duties, Venable led the Cubs' baserunning and outfield instruction.

Harris, 42, spent the past two years as the baserunning and outfielder coordinator in the Reds' Minor League system. He played parts of 12 seasons in the Majors (2001-12) between stints with the Orioles, White Sox, Red Sox, Braves, Nationals, Mets and Reds. A former utility man with experience in both the outfield and infield, he won a World Series ring with the White Sox in 2005 and suited up for Boston in '06, when current Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer was part of the front-office leadership for the Red Sox.

Ross' staff for '21 will feature a familiar cast as in '20, with the exception of Harris joining the fold and Chris Valaika taking over as the Cubs' new assistant hitting coach. The staff also includes Andy Green (bench coach), Tommy Hottovy (pitching coach), Anthony Iapoce (hitting coach), Craig Driver (first-base and catching coach), Mike Borzello (associate pitching, catching and strategy coach), Chris Young (bullpen coach) and Mike Napoli (quality assurance coach).

In his second season on the Cubs coaching staff, Kyle Evans will serve as the senior director of Major League data and development. Juan Cabreja will return as a staff assistant, and Chad Noble will be embark on his eighth season with the Cubs as the bullpen catcher.