Theo Epstein has not determined whether Mike Quade will remain as manager of the Cubs according to reports out of Chicago. The two met last week and are scheduled to meet again in a few days.
If Quade is fired, it sets up an interesting competition of sorts between Epstein and Ben Cherington as both search for a manager.
Epstein could make it easy and hire Cubbies legend Ryne Sandburg. But he also figures to explore some of the same candidates as the Red Sox given his shared values.
Dale Sveum, who interviews in Boston tomorrow, could interest Epstein. The former Sox coach is seen as an up-and-comer in managerial circles. Given that Svuem has been coaching in the NL Central, he would make some sense for the Cubs.
As to other matters:
• Forget the talk of David Ortiz going to Toronto. The Blue Jays picked up their $3.5 million option on Edwin Encarnacion and see him as their primary DH.
“We still have the flexibility if a DH spot comes open or someone becomes available to go down that path, but I will say it’s very low on the priority list,” GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters. “We have a lot of other areas we’d rather address first, but we do have the flexibility to get someone else if we want in that DH spot.”
• Buster Olney said on WEEI earlier today that Pete Mackanin impressed the Yankees during his tenure as a scout in 2008 and might have become manager had Joe Girardi left for the Cubs last year.
• Jon Heyman reports that Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux is a possibility with the Red Sox.
• Will Middlebrooks crashed into a tarp chasing a foul ball in Arizona and jammed his thumb. Nothing serious, says player development chief Mike Hazen. Middlebrooks is hitting .250 with four homers in 56 at-bats in the AFL.
• Ryan Lavarnway returned home from the Venezuelan Winter League because of illness. He ended up playing in only five games. Hazen said it’s not serious.