Cubs offer managing job to Sveum

BY Ken Rosenthal • November 16, 2011

Advantage, Theo.

The Cubs offered Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum their managing position Wednesday, seemingly eclipsing the Red Sox for the candidate both teams coveted, a major league source said.

The Red Sox declined to make Sveum an offer, leaving him with an easy decision, one that likely will lead to him becoming the Cubs’ next manager.

The Cubs did not announce the hiring of Sveum on Wednesday night, but the move seems inevitable, barring a last-minute offer from the Red Sox.

New Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer were with the Red Sox when Sveum was the team’s third-base coach in 2004 and ’05.

The Red Sox, after losing Sveum and eliminating Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin from consideration, may widen their managerial search, team officials said.

Blue Jays first-base coach Torey Lovullo, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. and Tigers third-base coach Gene Lamont remain under consideration for the Red Sox job, one source said.

Sveum, who turns 48 on Nov. 23, was well regarded by Ben Cherington, the new Red Sox general manager. But the team declined to make Sveum an offer after he met face to face with the Sox’s owners on Wednesday. The Cubs also met with Sveum on Wednesday and acted more decisively.

Brewers stars Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are among those who think highly of Sveum, who managed the Brewers for the final 12 games of the 2008 season and also in the playoffs that year.

One concern for both the Red Sox and Cubs might be that Sveum has spent most of his playing and coaching career in smaller markets. He drew heavy scrutiny in his two years as the Sox’s third-base coach, however, and is at least acquainted with the pressures of working in a big-city environment.

Given the choice of the two jobs, Sveum might prefer the Cubs. He has strong knowledge of the National League Central after spending the past six seasons with the Brewers. He also lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., near the Cubs’ spring-training home in Mesa, Ariz. The Red Sox train in Fort Myers, Fla.

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