File image of Boston Red Sox manager Francona walking back to the dugout during their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston

Cardinals’ candidates include Terry Francona, Ryne Sandberg

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Following up on yesterday’s news that the Cardinals asked for and were granted the Phillies’ permission to interview Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg to fill Tony La Russa’s shoes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll be one of “fewer than 10” candidates for the job.

According to Strauss the Cardinals are hoping to decide on La Russa’s successor within the next 10 days and in addition to Sandberg other candidates include third base coach Jose Oquendo and former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, plus Chris Maloney, Joe McEwing, and Mike Matheny.

Two very important factors are Albert Pujols’ and pitching coach Dave Duncan’s willingness to stick around, which is why David Eckstein suggested earlier this week that the Cardinals should hire Oquendo.

Four baseballs autographed by Jose Fernandez wash ashore

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 03: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 3, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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This is just . . . ugh.

WSVN-TV in Miami reports that a black bag containing Jose Fernandez’s checkbook and four baseballs signed by him washed ashore on Miami Beach. Probably a bag to keep stuff dry while out on the water.

The bag was given to a lifeguard. Hopefully the bag finds its way back to Fernandez’s family quickly.

Marlins sign Martin Prado to a three-year extension

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 06:  Martin Prado #14 of the Miami Marlins hits a sacrifice fly in the third inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
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The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins and Martin Prado have agreed to a three-year, $40 million contracy extension.

Prado has been highly effective for Miami, hitting .297/.350/.405 over two seasons The Marlins were eager to keep him and many teams were no doubt interested in trying to sign him this winter as he stood pretty darn tall on a pretty weak free agent market. He may very well have done better than the $40 million he’s getting, but a qualifying offer could’ve made the free agency process a bit more drawn out one than he would’ve preferred. And, of course, he seems very happy in Miami, as evidenced by his increasing role as a team leader with the Marlins.

For his career Prado has hit .293/.342/.423 over 11 seasons. He’ll now be locked up through his age-35 campaign.