BALTIMORE — Terry Francona, out of uniform since an acrimonious departure from the Red Sox a year ago, is interested in becoming the next manager of the Cleveland Indians.
Francona said Friday that he will interview for the position. He and interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. are reportedly the leading candidates to replace Manny Acta, who was fired Thursday.
Francona has worked for ESPN as an analyst since the Red Sox let him go. He has received glowing reviews for his work on television but has maintained for months that he wants to return to the dugout.
“I wouldn’t come in and interview if I wasn’t [interested],’’ Francona told MLB.com.
The Indians have significant work ahead before becoming a contender and operate under budget constraints not present in Boston. But Francona has great respect for team president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti.
Francona spent the 2001 season as a special assistant to Shapiro, who was then the GM. He has often said how valuable a learning experience that season was.
Francona would value having a solid relationship with the front office after the events of last season in Boston.
Francona has spent 12 seasons as a manager with the Phillies (1997-2000) and Red Sox (2004-11). He has two World Series titles and 1,029 victories.