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Ron Gardenhire reportedly one of three final candidates for the Red Sox job

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The Boston Red Sox fired John Farrell only yesterday, but at least one reporter says that they’re moving pretty fast as far as finding his replacement goes. The reporter is Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and he says that former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is in the “final three” for the Red Sox managerial opening.

It’s interesting to ponder how a Minnesota-based reporter would know that, but that’s between him and his source.

Walters doesn’t say who the other two candidates are, but Alex Cora, Brad Ausmus, Gary DiSarcina, Chili Davis, Brian Butterfield, and Jason Varitek have all been mentioned by those speculating about the opening. Some of that speculation is informed — Dave Dombrowski hired Ausmus in Detroit and likes him; Cora has been mentioned as a top candidate for any number of positions, etc. — and some of it may just be wish casting.

Gardenhire doesn’t seem to be a wish casting candidate. After a period in which recently-retired, putatively player-friendly managers with no previous experience were the trend, the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward hiring experienced managers. Gardenhire is certainly that, having served as the manager of the Twins for 13 years before his firing in September 2014. What’s more, he spent the 2017 season as the bench coach of the Diamondbacks where he reportedly worked well with former Red Sox coach Torey Lovullo and helped turn around a Dbacks club that lost 93 games last year.

The Red Sox job is a win-now prospect, and there is a lot of talent there. It’d certainly be a good opportunity for whoever wants it.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.

Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.

Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.

Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.