Report: Rick Renteria has emerged as a “clear cut favorite” for Cubs manager

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It was reported earlier today that the Cubs still had Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo on their radar for manager, but it appears that one candidate is the early frontrunner for the gig.

Renteria has been on the Padres’ staff since 2008, originally as a first base coach and as the bench coach for the past three seasons. While he doesn’t have major league managerial experience, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago notes that the Cubs are high on him in part because of his ability to work well with Latin-American players.

The Cubs have also interviewed former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirms that the Cubs like Lovullo, but adds that they may not wait to give him an interview, as they could settle on a manager before the Red Sox are done with the playoffs.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.