Kaplan: Cubs closing in on Renteria as search winds down

Kaplan: Cubs closing in on Renteria as search winds down
November 4, 2013, 5:30 pm
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The Cubs managerial search has entered its sixth week since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer fired Dale Sveum at the end of his second year in charge.

After a failed run at Yankees manager Joe Girardi, the Cubs have been doing their due diligence on a number of candidates, including San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, former Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, former Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, former Indians and Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta and Brad Ausmus, who was named as the new Tigers manager on Saturday.

[MORE: After interview with Cubs, Brad Ausmus headed to Detroit]

Multiple sources have confirmed to me today that the Cubs hope to have their new manager in place by Friday with Renteria in the lead, but the Cubs do want to interview Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo if they are granted that opportunity. Boston has to grant permission for Lovullo and after the contentious negotiations for compensation over Theo Epstein's departure from Boston in 2011, an interview is not a slam dunk.

[RELATED: Red Sox have not granted Cubs permission to interview Lovullo]

As of Monday afternoon, the Cubs had not received formal permission to interview Lovullo, but sources expect a resolution one way or the other within the next 48 hours.

The Cubs plan to interview Renteria again this week in California. I spoke with a former GM who believes Renteria would be a solid choice and feels he has been at or near the top of the Cubs' list since Sveum's firing.

"I know the Cubs have been very high on Rick since they started the search," the former GM told me. "He is a very solid baseball man and he will have an impact on their young players. But, let's be honest. Until they give him a roster that can compete, it is going to take time. He will be very good at developing players and holding them accountable."

[MORE: Cubs lose respected first base coach Dave McKay]

As for the coaching staff around the new manager, I fully expect pitching coach Chris Bosio to remain in Chicago and the Cubs are also exploring the possibility of adding former catcher Henry Blanco to the staff if he retires. Blanco, 42, played with the Cubs from 2005-08.