New Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington’s biggest priority as he settles into his new role is finding a new on-field manager to replace Terry Francona.
Cherington has identified a pool of candidates -- though he hasn’t identified all of them -- and has a general idea of the person he’ll hire.
“I want someone who’s got a strong voice,” Cherington said last month. “I want someone who cares about players but is also willing and ready to have a tough conversations with them. I want someone who can collaborate with the front office and with ownership but also who is willing to make an argument when he disagrees.”
Cherington said previous MLB managerial experience is not a qualification he will require. There is no timetable for when the search will be completed.
Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux was scheduled to be interviewed, but removed his name from consideration.
The Boston Globe outlines some of the candidates:
Pete Mackanin, Phillies bench coach: The longtime minor league manager was one of the first names mentioned when Francona left. Considered a good communicator, he has been the top deputy to Phillies manager Charlie Manuel since 2009.
He interviewed with the Red Sox on Oct. 31. “It’s like I was laboratory-tested by the Boston Red Sox,’’ Mackanin said of the interview. “It’s kind of an interesting little scenario they put you through, going over strategy in games.”
Dale Sveum, Brewers hitting coach: He was the Red Sox’ third base coach from 2004-05 and has been a bench coach, third base coach, hitting coach and interim manager for the Brewers since. He has three years of minor league managing experience.
He interviewed with the Red Sox on Nov. 2. “I don’t let things fester,’’ Sveum said about earning respect from players. “If I see something that is disrespecting me or disrespecting the game or the teammates that I’m managing, I’ll have a problem with that and I’ll take care of that at that given time.”
Others Red Sox may consider:
Sandy Alomar Jr., Indians bench coach: Alomar has been mentioned as a candidate for several openings in recent years, including the White Sox job that went to Robin Ventura this month. The Indians promoted him from first base coach at the end of the 2011 season. Cleveland manager Manny Acta said last month that Alomar was a “hot commodity” and that it was only a matter of time until a team gave him a chance to manage. The Indians gave him permission to interview with the Red Sox.
John Farrell, Blue Jays manager: Farrell, the former Boston pitching coach, might be the leading contender if he weren’t already in place at the helm of an AL East rival. The Blue Jays instituted a new policy not to allow employees to interview for lateral moves to other clubs. If the Red Sox somehow convince Toronto to part with Farrell, it would likely call for significant compensation.
DeMarlo Hale, Red Sox bench coach: He has been with Red Sox since 2006 and knows the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and priorities. Hale would maintain a lot of continuity from the Francona era, but may be too closely associated with the problems of the 2011 Red Sox.
Trey Hillman, Dodgers bench coach: He has extensive experience managing in the majors, minors and Japan. Hillman also fits the same profile the Red Sox used when they chose Terry Francona in 2003 -- a former manager who had become a bench coach.
A.J. Hinch, Padres scout: The former Diamondbacks manager went just 31-48 in his brief tenure in 2010. But he is considered a candidate who would be receptive to the Red Sox philosophy of using statistical analysis in the manager’s office.
Torey Lovullo, Blue Jays first base coach: Lovullo managed in Pawtucket in 2010 and has experience working with Cherington.
Dave Martinez, Rays bench coach: He has been Joe Maddon’s right-hand man during the Rays’ transformation into a perennial playoff contender. Considered a hot prospect to move into the managing ranks, but has never managed in the big leagues.
Tony Pena, Yankees bench coach: The former Royals manager was a catcher for the Red Sox from 1990-93. He is familiar with the intensity of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and the scrutiny applied to the Boston manager. A former manager in Kansas City, hiring Pena would also be a loss for Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Ryne Sandberg, Phillies AAA manager: The Hall of Fame second baseman was a contender for the Cubs’ managerial job that went to Mike Quade in 2010. He’s considered a rising managerial prospect after several seasons managing in the minors. The Red Sox asked him to manage Pawtucket last season, but he declined.
Don Wakamatsu, Blue Jays bench coach: He was the chief lieutenant to Farrell last year and went 127-147 in parts of two seasons leading the Mariners from 2009-2010.
Eric Wedge, Mariners manager: Another former Red Sox catcher, Wedge just completed his first season in Seattle. The Mariners announced they’re bringing him and his entire staff back next year, so prying Wedge loose would be difficult. He led Cleveland to the 2007 ALCS, where the Indians lost to the Red Sox.