Are the Red Sox Keeping the Cubs from Talking to Torey Lovullo?

The Cubs’ front office was expected to ask for and be granted permission by the Red Sox to formally speak with Torey Lovullo about their managerial vacancy. Multiple reports have suggested the Cubs were waiting for the Red Sox season to conclude in order to talk to Lovullo before moving forward with hiring a new manager.

Ken Rosenthal reported on Sunday that the Cubs would be talking to Lovullo early this week about the job but a report from Rob Bradford later in the day indicated that the Red Sox had not received calls about any of the coaches currently on John Farrell’s staff. Bradford’s report was confirmed by Ben Cherington during a press conference on Monday. Cherington said “that no team has requested permission to speak to Lovullo or any of Boston’s coaches.”

The delay in the Cubs speaking with Torey Lovullo could be over the agreement between the two teams in October of 2011 when Theo Epstein left the Red Sox to become President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs.

The agreement, at the time, was thought to be that Epstein would not “raid” Boston’s front office in order to improve the Cubs’ staff. Multiple reports two years ago stated the Red Sox would not stand in the way of a current employee leaving the Sox for the Cubs if it was clearly a better opportunity, in other words a promotion. It was unknown at the time, and still is, how long the agreement was between the two teams that the Cubs could not pursue a Red Sox employee, but it was thought to be three years.

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox are sticking to the agreement reached more than two years ago and are “balking at the idea of Lovullo interviewing with the Cubs” even though he was not employed by the Red Sox when the agreement was reached.

When Theo Epstein left Boston to take the Cubs’ job, Torey Lovullo was on John Farrell’s staff in Toronto. Lovullo was not an employee of the Boston Red Sox. According to Rosenthal, the Red Sox “apparently are going by the letter of the agreement” and “it will come down to ownership” if they will allow Lovullo to interview for the job. Rosenthal added Boston’s ownership could make a “concession” or perhaps a “special arrangement” could be reached between the two teams.

Jon Heyman reported the Cubs “have been denied permission to ask about Lovullo’s availablity” for now.

Theo Epstein put a loose deadline of Nov. 11 of having their new manager in place.

Stay tuned for updates from the Cubs’ Skipper Search

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