According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox have identified the first two candidates who could potentially fill the team’s opening at manager: Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum.
Both men will interview within the next week.
Mackanin, 60, has managed nine different minor league teams and served as an interim manager for both the Pirates and Reds. The former second baseman is widely respected around the sport for his charisma and baseball knowledge.
Sveum, 47, was Boston’s third base coach in 2004 and 2005. Like Mackanin, he also managed in the minor leagues and has served as an interim skipper in the bigs. Sveum has been on the Brewers’ coaching staff since 2006.
ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes published a list of 15 candidates for the Red Sox job last week. The club won’t hold that many interviews, but the process to find Terry Francona’s replacement could take a little while.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.