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.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.