Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is another name to keep in mind as the Cubs search for their next manager.
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Multiple sources have suggested the Cubs will want to talk with Lovullo, indicating Theo Epstein’s front office has remained open to the possibility as the Red Sox continue their playoff run.
Lovullo’s had a front-row seat for what has been a classic ALCS matchup against the Detroit Tigers, right next to potential Manager of the Year John Farrell. The Red Sox return to Fenway Park for Saturday’s Game 6 just one victory away from the World Series.
“Right now, our focus is on what’s happening here,” Lovullo said this week at Comerica Park. “I would like to manage one day, but I’m not here to fast forward anything or make it happen before it’s time.”
Lovullo, 48, graduated from UCLA and played for seven big-league teams, ending his career in 2000 after a season in Japan. He managed eight seasons in the Cleveland Indians system before he overlapped with Epstein while managing Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in 2010. He then spent two seasons as Farrell’s first-base coach with the Toronto Blue Jays.
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“I know life is timing,” Lovullo said. “Everything is timing. So if it’s the right situation and the right people want it to happen, then I’d certainly consider it. I know the Chicago Cubs have quite a reputation that starts with Theo and works its way down. I know they’re going to get a great candidate in there and help get them to the right place.”
The Cubs have formally interviewed four candidates, but that’s not believed to be the entire scope of their search. San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria met with Cubs executives on Monday in California. Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez interviewed on Thursday in California.
Padres executive A.J. Hinch and ESPN analyst Manny Acta interviewed earlier this month after Epstein fired Dale Sveum (127-197) two seasons into a three-year deal.
“I think they’re trying to search through the best options,” Lovullo said. “I know everybody in that particular situation does a very thorough job of researching to get the best options as interviewees. It sounds like it’s wide open. (But) I haven’t really followed it. I know Manny Acta had interviewed. All really good candidates and that’s where I kind of stopped doing my research.”
Acta – who had a 372-518 record with the Washington Nationals and Indians – is viewed as a long shot to be the next Cubs manager. Epstein has targeted making the hire before the GM meetings in mid-November.
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Two years ago, while discussing the job with Terry Francona, Epstein said the Cubs didn’t need to recreate “The Boston Show.”
Lovullo wasn’t in the Red Sox organization when Francona and Epstein celebrated World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. Lovullo said he had a good working relationship with Epstein during that one season at Pawtucket.
“I think we had a mutual respect for one another,” Lovullo said. “I was new to the organization having come from Cleveland and I saw that it was a very structured, routine-oriented organization. And I really respected that on an incredible level.”