The Chicago White Sox will turn to their former third baseman Robin Ventura to replace Ozzie Guillen as manager of the team.
Ventura, a longtime star with the White Sox, was hired by the club in June as a special adviser to director of player development Buddy Bell.
The team said he agreed to a multi-year deal on Thursday that will make him the 38th manager in White Sox history and the 17th who once played for the team.
Guillen was released from his contract with one year remaining after eight seasons and immediately was hired to manage the Florida Marlins.
Ventura’s selection was something of a surprise after widespread speculation that the top candidates included Tampa Bay Rays coach Dave Martinez or Cleveland Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar jnr. Both are also former White Sox players.
“I wanted someone who met very specific criteria centered around his leadership abilities,” White Sox general manager Ken Williams said.
“Robin Ventura was that man. His baseball knowledge and expertise, his professionalism, his familiarity with the White Sox and Chicago and his outstanding character make him absolutely the right person to lead our clubhouse and this organization into the seasons ahead.”
Ventura was a first-round draft pick of the White Sox in 1988 and spent his first 10 seasons with the club.
A stylish fielder and reliable clutch hitter with left-handed power, Ventura also played for the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers in a 16-year playing career.
He was six-time Gold Glove winner and an All-Star in 1992 and 2002.