Now that the World Series has concluded and the champagne-soaked streets of Boston have begun to dry, members of the Red Sox coaching staff can begin adding their names to interview lists for the various managerial vacancies around the majors.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo plans to do just that, interviewing for the Cubs’ opening “most likely early this week” on the north side of Chicago.
Lovullo played for the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, Athletics, Indians and Phillies over the course of an eight-year major league playing career and has served as a manager and coach at multiple levels of MLB-affiliated ball since. He was a candidate to become the Dodgers’ manager back in 2006 before Los Angeles opted for Grady Little and he was considered a finalist to become the skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007 before that gig went to John Russell.
Chicago has already interviewed former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and former Nationals manager Manny Acta. Brad Ausmus also interviewed and was thought to be a favorite at one point, but he just agreed to replace Jim Leyland in Detroit.
The Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum at the end of the 2013 regular season after two disappointing years.
Add another name to the list of candidates for Cubs manager.
Tony Andracki of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs interviewed Padres special assistant and former major league catcher Brad Ausmus for their managerial opening yesterday. He becomes the sixth reported candidate to interview, joining former Mariners manager Eric Wedge, Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, former Nationals manager Manny Acta, and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez.
Andracki writes that the Cubs “have shown a propensity” to favor candidates who they are familiar with and Ausmus is no different, as Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer hired him for his current position when he was GM of the Padres. The Cubs’ front office also has a history with Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, so it appears that he’ll still end up getting an interview.
Ausmus’ only managerial experience is with Team Israel, who failed to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. That hasn’t stopped him from being a popular name for openings around MLB, as he was a candidate for the Nationals’ job and recently met with the Tigers.
We learned yesterday that former Mariners manager Eric Wedge is going to interview for the Cubs’ manager job next week, but it appears that there could be some early favorites among the other candidates.
Hinch and Renteria both currently work for the Padres. Hinch, who previously managed the Diamondbacks in 2009-2010, serves as assistant GM with San Diego. Renteria has been on the major league staff with the Padres for past six seasons, including the last three as bench coach.
While the Cubs have also met with former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta and Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, it’s unclear if any future interviews are scheduled. Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is reportedly on the club’s radar, but they would likely have to wait until after the World Series in order to talk to him.
The job isn’t as sexy as the openings in Washington and Detroit, but the Cubs manager job is up for grabs and today Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com handicaps some of the candidates with the help of an anonymous former GM who adds his thoughts.
Upshot, if you believe the GM views the world the same way Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein do: sell short on A.J. Hinch, go long on Dave Martinez or Brad Ausmus.
I feel the same way about Ausmus, for what it’s worth. Seems like this would be a great job for a guy who many feel will one day be a fantastic manager but who just needs to cut his teeth a bit.