Obsessive New Manager Watch: Are the Red Sox Withholding Permission to Interview Lovullo?
Just when I’d let the last of the Red-Sox-related angst wash away from my soul, they might be pulling another steaming move …
Ken Rosenthal reported this weekend that the Chicago Cubs would soon interview Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo for their open managerial gig. Rosenthal was on something of an island with that one, for, although it made complete sense, Boston sources insisted that the Cubs hadn’t even yet requested or received permission to interview Lovullo.
So what’s the deal? Rosenthal explains, and I suggest you take your blood pressure medication before reading. At the crux of the issue is the post-2011 agreement between the Cubs and Red Sox that the former would not raid the latter for employees in exchange for allowing the Cubs to hire Theo Epstein (to a promotion, damnit! A promotion!). It was a relatively reasonable agreement, and the Cubs’ subsequent raiding of the Padres could show you why.
But Rosenthal says the Red Sox are taking the position that Lovullo – who wasn’t even brought back into the Red Sox’s organization until 2012 – falls under the agreement. That, despite the fact that Lovullo has a legit shot at a managerial job, something that doesn’t exactly come along every day. Class move, gentlemen.
How will this play out? Well, the Red Sox, as is their wont, could ask for some kind of compensation if the Cubs talk to Lovullo and want to hire him. It would be pretty unprecedented for a team to receive compensation to let a coach be hired on as a manager with another club – but, after the Theo Epstein Compensation Saga, I don’t rule out anything unprecedented when it comes to Boston’s ownership/management group.
I suspect the Cubs will have an opportunity to speak to Lovullo before making a managerial decision, but I’d think the timing of this – the Cubs necessarily had to wait until after the World Series – could make things a little uncomfortable timing-wise. The Cubs want to have a manager in place by next Monday for the start of the GM Meetings.