Sveum brings a lot to table
MILWAUKEE - Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington confirmed last night that Dale Sveum will get a second interview for the team’s managerial opening and will meet with owners John Henry and Tom Werner and CEO Larry Lucchino at the GM meetings here tomorrow.
Cherington also said he may bring a second candidate in for a second interview later in the week or next week, and said as of now there are no plans to interview any new candidate.
“I felt real comfortable with him on a personal level,’’ Cherington said about Sveum. “We like his broad-based experience. We like the type of player he was and [how he was] in his time in Boston as a coach. He had success in Milwaukee as a coach and has some managing experience in the majors and in the minor leagues. We felt like he brings a lot of good qualities.
“The next phase is getting ownership a little bit more involved. Wanted them to have a chance to get to know him a little better.’’
As for coming to a resolution with the Cubs over compensation for Theo Epstein, Cherington said, “I’ll meet with Theo when I see him. We were told that at some point [major league baseball] would take it over. It’s probably best for all of us. We don’t need to be doing this all offseason. We’d still like to figure it out on our own, but if we can’t, I think everyone needs to move on.’’
The Sox also interviewed Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., and Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin.
Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin had nice things to say about Sveum, the Brewers hitting coach who is a candidate for the Red Sox and Cubs jobs.
Sveum served as interim manager for the Brewers for 12 games in 2008.
“He follows the game real well,’’ Melvin said. “Sometimes I’ll go to the office, I’ll pull in, and it’s 8:30 in the morning and there’s Dale pulling in around the corner on his motorcycle, getting there early and preparing for the game. He goes to lunch, comes back. He’s a very conscientious guy. He studies the game well. He’s done various facets of the game, third base coach, hitting [coach].’’
Why didn’t he get the job full time after being the interim skipper?
“That was more of a philosophical decision,’’ Melvin said. “We just wanted to go with a new name and a new face. I’m not a big believer in the interim type of guy. I might be wrong, but the perception is that really doesn’t work out all of the time. Interim guys are nice guys in September and the next year they’re sometimes not the same guys. We just wanted to get someone new, outside.’’
Asked if Sveum handled the game well, Melvin said, “Twelve games is hard to tell. He did enough to get us to the postseason. He’s well-prepared. He’s quite capable.’’
The Sox had been pretty far down the road on trying to obtain former pitching coach and current Blue Jays manager John Farrell, but major league sources indicated compensation became the road block. After that, the Blue Jays issued a statement saying that they’d changed policy and that employees were not allowed to leave for parallel positions.
It was thought the team might pursue Houston manager Brad Mills because of his familiarity with the team (he is a former Sox bench coach), but Cherington seems content with the group he has.
With the White Sox hiring Robin Ventura and the Cardinals picking Mike Matheny, it appears the trend is toward younger managers who will accept front-office input.
Sveum seems to be the front-runner right now. He’s considered a players’ manager, which may have prevented him from getting the Brewers’ permanent job.
Lovullo is a fiery personality, and may fit Boston’s organizational approach to managing while also providing a tougher persona.
Alomar, a six-time All-Star catcher, is highly regarded despite no managerial experience. He may be the Phillies’ top choice to replace Charlie Manuel when he decides to retire, according to a Phillies source.
Lamont is the experienced candidate, with stints at the helm of the White Sox and Pirates. He’s also the oldest candidate, at 64.
Mackanin has managed for years in the minors and has been interim skipper for the Pirates and Reds.
Cherington may meet here with agent Scott Boras concerning closer Ryan Madson.
Madson recently was snubbed by the Phillies, who signed their No. 1 choice, free agent Jonathan Papelbon. Madson, a couple of months older than Papelbon, asked for a four-year, $44 million deal. The Phillies were only willing to go three years for their own player, whom they still perceive as more of an eighth-inning pitcher.
“Having not talked to the [Sox],’’ Boras said, “I look at the data and I would say that you look at a player’s skills. After Ryan’s season and where Ryan is at this point in his career, he’s far more proven in the closer position and he’s pitched games and done very well in the postseason, which lends well to playoff-caliber teams.’’
Boras was asked how speculation about Matt Kemp being close to an eight-year, $160 million contract with the Dodgers may affect Jacoby Ellsbury and the Sox.
“I think all deals for premium players impact each other,’’ Boras said. “When you produce offense, provide speed, power, Gold Glove defense, it’s so rare. It’s a lot rarer than it was 10 years ago. So it’s a pretty special group of players.’’
Boras was asked if he would discuss a future contract for Ellsbury with Cherington, and he said he didn’t know what Cherington would want to discuss with him in regard to the player.
Boras will discuss Jason Varitek’s future with the Sox. The catcher would like to continue playing, but the Sox may opt to make room for Ryan Lavarnway to go with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.