It was not just the World Series that kept Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo from speaking with the Chicago Cubs about their managerial opening. It was also a contract that the Red Sox and former team president Theo Epstein have. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reminds us that when Epstein left the Red Sox to become the Cubs’ team president in October of 2011, he signed an agreement that keeps Epstein from hiring a Red Sox employee for three years; that deal still has one year left. Epstein hired former Red Sox GM Jed Hoyer as the Cubs’ general manager, but Hoyer came from San Diego, not Boston.
The Cubs expressed interest in Lovullo for their manager, but reports said at the time that Lovullo –rightfully so — was concentrating on the postseason. Red Sox manager John Farrell has given his endorsement that Lovullo would make a fine Major League manager. That opportunity will now have to wait.
The Cubs hired Rick Renteria, former San Diego Padres bench coach and Minor League manager, on Thursday, November 7, to manage their team. Epstein likes Renteria’s abilities as a player developer, and the Cubs are loaded with young but underdeveloped talent. That talent includes former Red Sox prospect Anthony Rizzo. Renteria will have his challenges, but Epstein is looking to turn around the Cubs as he did the Red Sox when he put together the team in the early 2000s that eventually won the World Series in 2004 for the first time in 86 years.
With Lovullo staying on the Red Sox bench, general manager Ben Cherington will now turn his attention to the players. MLB.com’s Ian Browne says that Cherington is awaiting answers to the qualifying offers made to Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew. Jacoby Ellsbury has already turned down his offer in quest for a long-term deal. The pitching staff is solid, the infield is almost set, pending Drew, and the outfield has some free agent concerns.
At least, though, the Red Sox will keep one of the best bench coaches around until he secures a managerial job.