Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale interviewed yesterday with Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, becoming the fifth known candidate to replace Mike Quade as Chicago’s manager.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Hale’s interview came via phone, but team president Theo Epstein was quick to point out that the Cubs’ decision-makers are familiar with him from their time together in Boston.
Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum, Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, and Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. are the other four candidates to interview with the Cubs. Epstein indicated that there won’t be any further candidates, but also added that he and Terry Francona “continue to talk” despite not going through a formal interview.
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.