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.

Former major league pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies in traffic accident

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Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.

The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.

The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: