Negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox regarding compensation for Theo Epstein are getting pretty complicated, but it’s possible they could clash again later this offseason.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com paints a scenario where the clubs could compete for managerial candidates, naming Hall of Famer and Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg in particular.
Epstein attempted to hire Sandberg to manage Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket before he joined the Phillies’ organization last year and now that Jim Hendry is no longer with the Cubs’ organization, he would be a natural and popular choice to replace Mike Quade as skipper. It sounds far-fetched that he would choose the Red Sox over the Cubs if given the opportunity, but Rosenthal notes that Boston is likely to have interest, as new GM Ben Cherington was also involved in the pursuit of Sandberg last year.
This could all be rendered moot if Epstein or Cherington decides to go with a candidate with previous managerial experience in the major leagues, but it’s a fun scenario to think about on a quiet Saturday afternoon.
Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:
Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.
The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.
The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.