Mackanin, Alomar, Martinez on Sox' list of candidates

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Mackanin, Alomar, Martinez on Sox' list of candidates

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
While the issue of whether they have to soon find a new general manager, too, remains unsettled, the Red Sox Tuesday took the first tentative steps to drawing up a list of potential managerial candidates to replace Terry Francona.

Even as, on a parallel track, Red Sox ownership debates whether to grant the Chicago Cubs permission to speak with Theo Epstein about their general manager vacancy, the organization is forging ahead with a managerial search.

None of the "name" candidates -- Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Valentine -- are thought to be on the Red Sox' shopping list, as the club seeks a younger candidate, one more agreeable to working with others than a more established, veteran manager.

It's also unlikely that members of Francona's coaching staff, including DeMarlo Hale, will be interviewed. Hale is viewed as a top managerial candidate, but after some of the late-season issues the Red Sox experienced in the clubhouse, it's thought that a fresh start is necessary.

According to baseball sources, some of the candidates being discussed are still involved in the postseason, though one, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, saw his club's season come to an end Tuesday afternoon when the Rays were eliminated in the American League Division Series for the second straight October by the Texas Rangers.

Martinez has served as the bench coach under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay since 2008. In those four years, the Rays won one American League pennant and went to the postseason all four years.

Maddon, it should be noted, was the runnerup for the Red Sox' job in 2003 when the team hired Francona. Maddon is regarded as one of the best and most innovative managers in the game and Martinez has undoubtedly learned from him over the last four seasons.

Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackinin is another candidate, though at 60, he's older than any other candidate the Sox have considered.

Mackanin has served as Charlie Manuel's bench coach for the past three seasons, replacing former Red Sox manager Jimy Williams in that role.

Mackanin has also worked as a bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates and has managerial experience -- albeit brief -- in the big leagues, having served as interim managers for both the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

Another known candidate is Sandy Alomar Jr., the older brother of recent Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Alomar and the son of former major league infielder Sandy Alomar.

Alomar had a long, successful career in the big leagues, spent mostly with the Cleveland Indians. After his career ended, Alomar served two seasons as the New York Mets' catching instructor, before rejoining the Indians as, initially, their first-base coach and more recently, manager Manny Acta's bench coach.

He was on the short list of finalists to manage the Toronto Blue Jays last fall, before losing out to John Farrell.

Tony Pena, currently the New York Yankees' bench coach, has been discussed, but is thought to be less of a candidates than Mackanin, Alomar and Martinez -- among others.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.