Updating the Skipper Search: Cubs Might Not Be Able to Interview Torey Lovullo

Multiple outlets confirmed Ken Rosenthal’s report that the Red Sox might not allow Torey Lovullo to interview for the Cubs’ managerial opening based on the agreement made between the two teams when Theo Epstein left Boston for Chicago more than two years ago.

As part of the compensation the Red Sox received for letting Epstein out of the final year of his contract, the Cubs were not allowed to hire any Red Sox personnel to fill positions with the Cubs. Reports at the time indicated 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. And while Torey Lovullo was not employed by Boston at the time Epstein left to take the Cubs’ job, the Red Sox are sticking to the agreement and “balking at the idea of Lovullo interviewing with the Cubs.”

The Sun-Times reported the Sox “still have the right to exercise the clause in this case if they choose.” The Sun-Times explained “it is unclear whether Red Sox upper management is trying to make the Cubs squirm before relenting” and allowing Lovullo to interview. But if Larry Lucchino does not let Lovullo interview soon, the Cubs’ front office will be forced to move on.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are expected to know one way or the other if they will be able to formally interview Torey Lovullo within the next 48 hours.

The Cubs are looking to have a new manager in place before the General Manager’s meetings begin on Monday and David Kaplan is expecting a new skipper in place by Friday.

Rick Renteria, who is one of the five finalists for the Mariners’ job, appears to be in the lead at this point. The Sun-Times reported A.J. Hinch and Eric Wedge “are getting extended looks late into the process.”


Henry Blanco

Could there be a return of Hank White to the North Side of Chicago? When the Mariners designed Henry Blanco for assignment on Oct. 8 (Blanco elected free agency on Oct. 10), the CCO brought up the possibility of the Cubs being interested in Blanco as a coach, not a player. Many have felt for years that Blanco has what it takes to be a big league coach, if not more, once his playing days come to an end.

Henry Blanco turned 42 in August and according to David Kaplan, the Cubs are looking into the possibility of Blanco being a coach on the new manager’s staff.

Alex Cora has also been mentioned as a possibility to be on the new manager’s staff.

Chris Bosio

It appears the Cubs’ new manager will not have to worry about hiring a pitching coach. For weeks multiple reports have suggested Chris Bosio would return to his old position on the Cubs’ coaching staff. The Cubs’ front office likes the job Bosio has done for the past two seasons and Bosio is expected to be retained. David Kaplan reported Monday night he expects Bosio back as the Cubs’ pitching coach.

Stay tuned for updates from the Cubs’ Skipper Search

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

  • PC

    Why not make bosio the manager and place the
    Capable working coaching staff around him ?
    Dave Martinez , Blanco , Maybe Ozzie at third
    Or as bench coach . And a good veteran guy
    Like McKay who is now gone.

  • Ripsnorter1

    When Team Theo fired Quade and hired Sveum, their managerial search was a circus.
    And look what we got: Sveum. And now we have another circus.

    I am not impressed.

    • Tony_Hall

      Who were the first 2, because there have been no reports of anyone being offered the job?

      Who were the 1st two before Sveum that were offered the job and turned it down?

      • Ripsnorter1

        You assume too much. I did not say that they offered the job to two others.
        I did say that Sveum was their 3rd choice, like this hire will be also.

        Let’s see…2013 manager hunt:
        1. Girardi. You remember, the manager of the NY Yankees. The Cubs wanted him badly. $6 million per for 5 years badly.
        2. Lovullo. He was a lock. He’s a Red Sox.
        3. Whoever is next in line.

        You object? Okay, if whoever is next in line is so good, why wasn’t he hired already?
        He wasn’t hired because he wasn’t so impressive that they just had to hire him
        right now.

        Now 2011 manager hunt:
        1. Mike Maddux. After an interview, they wanted him; he told them to forget it.
        2. I might add Tito did the same. And Bob Brenly.
        3. Sveum.

        • Tony_Hall

          Talk about assuming too much.

          My point is there are many other managers they would choose to have over this list or 2011. But just like Girardi they were never available.

  • Sonate

    Although “specific performance” is part of the labor contract with the players, what (if anything) compels “specific performance” from higher-level personnel? For instance, when I considered leaving AT&T for greener pastures, I did not have to “seek permission” to talk to another prospective employer, nor did the prospective employer have to obtain “permission” from AT&T to interview me. Whether I was “better off” going to a different firm was a decision I was free to make. This is the standard corporate setting. Although the contract may be “binding” to the employer, the employee is free to seek a better deal elsewhere. Of course, there are exceptions in the performing arts, where labor is less interchangeable, but I do not understand how the Red Sox can prevent Lovullo from interviewing the Cubs if he wished to do so. Can someone enlighten me here?

    • Tony_Hall

      Coaches, managers, players have binding contracts for a set term. The team has to give permission for a coach to interview for a managers job, but it is 99.9% of the time a formality, as no team benefits from blocking their coaches from advancing to managers. It looks really bad in the industry.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Is Lovullo under contract? I mean if Lovullo wants to quit and leave (and interview) he can. But if he doesn’t get the job, he has no job. I’m guessing that’s part of what’s at play here.

      • Tony_Hall

        He has a contract and cant quit and go elsewhere. Boston definitely has the right to stop that.

        • Sonate

          I understand that Boston could prevent a “player” from doing this because it is part of the overall labor contract with the players. But what allows Boston to prevent a coach or a higher level person from doing so? (My AT&T example, for instance.) Is there a separate general contract that governs the higher-level personnel too? Thanks for the info Tony.

          • Tony_Hall

            The team can enforce the contract they have with the coach. Coaches sign 1 year, 2 year, 3 year contracts with teams, just like managers and players. That is why teams need to give permission for a coach to interview for a managers job, they have a contract still. Very rarely will a team deny a coach the chance to be a manager.

  • Tony_Hall

    The Red Sox are not looking good in the industry for not letting Lovullo interview for a promotion. The Cubs will not give the Red Sox anything to talk or hire Lovullo, it just doesn’t happen for a coach trying to become a manager. And keep in mind how this will play out in the future, not only with other teams but future coaches. They will ask Boston if they are going to stand in the way of them getting a managers job. If you are Lovullo and want to interview for the Cubs job, are you going to be happy about them using the letter of the agreement and not the spirit of the agreement to keep you from having a chance at a managers job. He is not a finalist in Seattle. There final 4 are Mclendon, Cora, Hale and Wallach. In this update there is mention of them possibly giving Renteria a second interview. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/seattle-mariners-finalists-emerge-for-manager-job-110413

    I fully expect Boston to give in and let Lovullo interview, and Theo will then either hire him, because that is who he wanted all along, or he will hire Renteria. It all will conclude before their self imposed deadline of November 11th. Not sure what the hurry is for everyone, except for wanting it done, but if we get into next week, will it be past when they expected to have it wrapped up, and I don’t remember anyone complaining about that date at the beginning of the search.

  • Tony_Hall

    The coaching staff won’t be picked until after a manager. But as is becoming more common, the FO is taking a bigger role in sorting through coaching candidates, even to the point of the FO picks half of the coaches and the manager picks the other half. Bosio is obviously one the FO wants to keep, Cora and Blanco have both had their names thrown around the last month.

  • cubtex

    Here’s my thought on this. IF there is an agreement in place that Theo will not raid any current Red Sox employees for 3 years, Lovullo should not even have been a thought for a split second. Promotion or not. Show some character and go somewhere else. When I opened up my own business about 17 years ago, I was the VP at a big company and I decided at that time that I would not try and steal or take any of the other employees at that company. I wanted to leave with integrity and build a solid foundation built on trust and character. I feel I have been much better off ever since. In fact, several people who used to work for me are now currently employed by me and transitioned in the proper manner.
    Pass on Lovullo and all current Red Sox employees based on the agreement. There are a ton of good baseball people around all of baseball.

    • Tony_Hall

      Lovullo was not employed by Boston when Theo left, he was in Toronto.

      • cubtex

        He is currently employed by Boston. There is no gray area.

        • Tony_Hall

          Ironically, Farrell brought him with from Toronto just one year ago. Boston was fine with that.

          Current employees can be deemed at the time Theo left. Either way, Boston is treating Lovullo poorly here and it will cone back to them down the road.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Correction. John Henry is treating him badly. Guy has a bad reputation already. I see to remember that’s part of the reason Theo left.

          • cubtex

            A manager usually brings in his own coaches when taking a new job. LaMont goes wherever Leyland is,etc.

            This is not about Boston treating Lovullo poorly since it is strictly an agreement between the Cubs and Red Sox. This is something that should have never put on the table since Theo should stay the F away from Boston.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think Torey would disagree.

          • Tony_Hall

            Its not like he interviewed him behind their back. He is asking for permission and if Boston says no, that’s it. I don’t see how you can say this is a lack of integrity or character in any way.

        • Josh Man

          There is absolutely gray area. For one thing the agreement stipulates “unless for a promotion.” Last time I checked, manager was a step up from bench coach. Tony is completely correct. Boston looks bad here, and other people that Boston might want to hire in the future will remember that Boston stood in the way of one of their coaches getting a chance to manage and might take a job elsewhere because of it.

          • cubtex

            Strictly a Cubs/Red Sox deal. As I said, Lovullo should not have even been a thought if Theo has one ounce of character and integrity.

          • Tony_Hall

            This is obvious to most everyone that Boston is in the wrong here, whether they can block this or not, get on twitter , not much support for your anti-Theo view on this one.

          • cubtex

            I don’t care about support. I am saying what I feel is right. You left Boston. There was some sort of agreement not to raid Red Sox staff. Stay away.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Unless the job was a promotion. Theo isn’t going to add to the agreement in order to work against himself. Why would he add that?

            Boston is just flexing their muscles a bit, possibly to let the Cubs know that they will be difficult going forward and most likely as a way to let the Cubs know that if they hire Torey, he won’t be able to raid their staff for his own. Which could be a deal breaker for him accepting the Cubs job. You’d imagine he has a fellow coach or two he’d like to bring with him. This is Boston’s way of clearly stating that absolutely won’t happen. Which is 100% within the agreement made when Theo signed.

            Boston will relent, they are just making a point, mostly to Torey, that he won’t be taking any coaches with him if he accepts the job.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I don’t think that has anything to do with it. For one the agreement stated that if it was for a “better opportunity,” then an employee was fair game. This is obviously a step-up thus, falls outside the arrangement. Further, as Tony stated, he wasn’t with the Red Sox at the time of the agreement, which may or may not be part of the arrangement but is at the least an extremely grey area, just like interviewing for a promotion would be. Finally, the agreement was over Theo, not made by Theo, thus he may not feel all that inclined to abide by it. However since this is for a coach to become a manager, it’s outside the agreement or at the very least a grey area.

            Ray, you are obviously taking this opportunity to rip on Theo unfairly. Saying if he “has one ounce of character and integrity.” Even if the agreement was black and white in this case it would still be a harsh statement. Theo wants to win with the Cubs. You’re definitely taking this opportunity to deride Theo because it’s obvious you dislike him. Which is fine, but call a spade a spade.

          • cubtex

            Disagree 100%. Why go there Boardrider? Why go to Boston when there is wording to stay away for 3 years? Why even look for a loophole? It is a lack of character and integrity. Stay away from that team! Think about it from the other side. You let your gm who you have under contract go to another team. You didn’t have to, but you ask that he not raid your staff for x amount of years. Stand by that. Your love fir Theo is blinding common sense!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            This is a promotion. Language was built into the deal Rickett’s got for Theo that allowed for interviewing for a promotion. One it wasn’t Theo’s deal, it was a deal for Theo. Two it specifically says that if it’s for a promotion you can interview a guy. I don’t see any problem. At the very least it’s a grey area but I don’t even think it’s grey. It’s white and Theo can interview him if the job is a step up.

          • John_CC

            I agree. Though we do not know the actual language in the agreement, the entire issue here is that it is all “gray area.”

            The reason for the initial agreement seems obvious, one GM leaves for promotion (President) and needs a staff. That team does not want him to take the good people he hired. This is obvious. The agreement at the time was not about future employees. Why would they even think of that or add it to the agreement? I just doesn’t make sense.

            In my eyes, the Red Sox definitely look bad. Yes, it is John Henry and Larry Lucchino that are bitter and hold a grudge against Epstein, but they are the Red Sox.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            True. This is textbook Lucchino and Henry behavior.

            Once again, if anybody has read Tito’s book :) you would read between the lines and see which Red Sox people are the one’s instituting this. Cherington is probably a little embarrassed and I’m sure has called Theo to tell him that this decision didn’t come from him. Cherington owes his career to Theo.

          • cubtex

            As do you :)

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I absolutely do. I want him to bring half the rings to Chicago he brought to Boston and I’ll be his biggest fan forever. The guy reversed the biggest curse in sports. He’s probably already a HOF’er.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Day 36…….
    if Renteria accepts Seattle job…what then?
    Who is next on deck?

    • Tony_Hall

      McClendon was hired but Renteria wasn’t even a finalist. The final 4 were Mclendon, Cora, Hale and Wallach. In this update there is mention of them possibly giving Renteria a second interview. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Tony, the link I used in the report had Renteria listed as one of the five finalists for the job.

        • Tony_Hall

          Looks like Rosenthal might have been right then, as Renteria never even had a second interview.

  • Pingback: Reports Pointing Toward Rick Renteria Being the Cubs Next Skipper - Chicago Cubs Online