The Astros moved quickly to find a new manager, hiring Nationals coach Bo Porter before the regular season was over.
The Indians did the same, reaching agreement on a four-year deal with Terry Francona that was announced on Monday. Francona was interviewed just two days after the season ended.
The Red Sox waited until after the season to start their search, firing Bobby Valentine on Thursday. Now they could have some competition for the better candidates.
Jim Tracy resigned as manager of the Rockies Sunday. A third team could be in the hunt for a new manager if the Marlins elect to dump Ozzie Guillen with three years remaining on his contract.
The Marlins, like the Red Sox, finished 69-93 and endured a season marked by underperforming star players and controversies that emanated from the manager’s office. Guillen’s fate rests with owner Jeffrey Loria.
The Red Sox have been quiet since Thursday, owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington not responding to messages seeking comment about their search for Valentine’s replacement and where it stands.
If the Sox are confident they will be able to pry John Farrell away from the Blue Jays, what the Rockies or Marlins do is of little concern. But if the search is opened up, that changes.
Regardless, the Sox also need time to assemble a coaching staff and to include the manager on remaking the roster for 2013.
That proved to be a problem last season when Valentine was hired in late November. By the time Valentine got to work, there were few qualified coaches available to hire. Valentine also had little say on constructing the roster. The ill-fated decision to make Daniel Bard a starting pitcher, for instance, was made before he was hired.
Former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell will not be a candidate in Boston or Miami.
“It’s not for me right now,” Lowell told CBS Sports when asked about managing.
Lowell, 38, retired after the 2010 season and kept a low profile since, spending time with his family in Florida. But he has long been seen as having the experience and temperament that would make him a good manager.
In Miami, especially, Lowell would be a popular choice given his Cuban roots. But that will have to wait.
“That’s something that might intrigue me in the future,” Lowell said. “I like being on the field more than in an office — but it’s just not something I’m ready to do at this point.
“The time commitment for a manager is greater than it is for a player, which is something people don’t realize. The time isn’t something I’m willing to give up right now.”
One of Lowell’s contemporaries, Jason Varitek, is working for the Red Sox as one of Cherington’s assistants. But Varitek also is not at a stage where he is prepared to give up post-retirement family life for managing.
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Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (right thumb) and outfielder Daniel Nava (left wrist) are recovering from surgeries done after the season. Pedroia had a torn ligament repaired while Nava had a cyst removed. Both players should be healthy long before the start of spring training. For Pedroia, it was his third surgery in a span of two years. He had a pin inserted into his left foot to stabilize a broken bone Sept. 3, 2010. That pin was taken out following the 2011 season.