Reports should surface in the next couple of days that the Cubs have asked for and been granted permission from the Red Sox to interview Torey Lovullo. The Red Sox are basking in the glory of winning their third World Series Championship in 10 years but soon after the parade on Saturday morning, Ben Cherington should receive a phone call from either Theo Epstein or Jed Hoyer.
While Brad Ausmus’ stock maybe rising within the Cubs’ organization, the front office has been waiting for the Red Sox season to come to an end so they can formally speak with Torey Lovullo. The Cubs have interviewed five other candidates, and possibly Brad Ausmus, but it is pretty obvious they would like to talk to Torey Lovullo before moving forward in the process.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been very quiet, as promised, since Sveum was dismissed. The front office has interviewed A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Rick Renteria, Dave Martinez, Eric Wedge and an unnamed mystery candidate that could be Brad Ausmus. Hinch and Renteria are believed to still be in the mix, while Acta and Martinez do not appear to be in the running for the job at this point. It is unclear as to where Eric Wedge stands after interviewing with Epstein and Hoyer earlier in the week.
Theo Epstein put a loose deadline of Nov. 11 of having a new manager in place. If the front office is still working with that deadline then the process should move quickly over the next seven days. There is not believed to be a favorite for the job but that should change soon with the Sun-Times reporting “the Cubs still expect to have a new manager in place sometime around the end of next week.”
The Tribune reported on Wednesday night that Torey Lovullo could quickly emerge as the favorite for the job. Considering the Cubs have not formally talked to Lovullo, the Red Sox bench coach seems to know a lot about the direction of the organization.
Torey Lovullo has been very complimentary of the Cubs and thinks the team “will contend soon under Epstein’s plan.” Lovullo told the Sun-Times, “I think that whoever gets to sit in that seat is going to be in a really good situation and one that has stability and a long-term plan in place.”
The Sun-Times reported that Lovullo “is intrigued by the vision” and said, “I do know there’s a pretty good blueprint in place that’s here, that Theo started. I know that he sees that it works, so he can take that same blueprint over to Chicago, and it’s going to work. It’s a matter of time before it works.”
The Cubs have talked to Rick Renteria at least two times, and he was thought to be the frontrunner for the job. Renteria has interviewed with the Mariners and he formally interviewed for the Tigers’ managerial opening on Thursday. Dave Dombrowski flew to San Diego to interview Renteria because he still cannot travel due to recent hip surgery. Dombrowski and Renteria have a history from their days together in the Marlins’ organization. Plus, Renteria played for former Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland.
The Tigers have also interviewed Brad Ausmus and they will reportedly ask the Red Sox for permission to interview Torey Lovullo as well.
The Cubs have competition for the three candidates that appear to be on their shortlist, but interest from other teams is not expected to speed up the process for the Cubs’ front office.
The contracts of the 2013 coaching staff are believed to have expired on Thursday. Theo Epstein said that the coaching staff was free to look for other jobs when he dismissed Dale Sveum more than a month ago. According to multiple reports, the front office would like to retain Chris Bosio, Lester Strode and Dave McKay. The front office has conducted interviews with candidates to fill out the coaching staff for next season so they can give recommendations to the new manager. Alex Cora is one name believed to be high on the front office’s list of possible coaches. And another possibility is current Daytona Cubs hitting coach, Mariano Duncan.
Stay tuned for updates from the Cubs’ Skipper Search …