Red Sox, Francona, Epstein Links: Saturday

The Red Sox and manager Terry Francona parted ways following Boston's September collapse yesterday, ending an eight-year run together. Soon after, we learned that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was pushing for Francona (after Ozzie Guillen's departure), and that the Red Sox will conduct a thorough search for their next skipper. Let's keep track of the latest regarding the Sox, Francona, and GM Theo Epstein right here throughout the day, with the latest up top…

  • Epstein is interested in becoming the Cubs GM, tweets Peter Gammons, and it remains to be seen whether Red Sox owner John Henry can perhaps convince Esptein to stay in Boston as co-CEO and promote assistant GM Ben Cherington. Ben Nicholson-Smith recently interviewed Cherington as part of MLBTR's GM Candidates series, so be sure to check that out to learn more about him. 
  • After speaking to a few people familiar with the Nationals' thinking, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post doesn't think the Nats will pursue Francona.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link) has spoken to many executives over the last two days who believe Epstein will be granted permission to interview for the Cubs' GM opening, and that he'll end up in Chicago. No one in the Red Sox organization has given a definitive "no" when discussing Epstein to the Cubs, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe notes.
  • The White Sox continue to focus on their original short list for managerial candidates, even with Francona now available, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle hears that the Red Sox have interest in Mariners manager Eric Wedge, but there is no indication that the Mariners would be willing to let him go (Twitter link).
  • Bobby Valentine has support in at least "one important corner" of the Red Sox front office according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter), and he will presumably be brought in for an interview.
  • In another tweet, Olney reminds us that Epstein is the x-factor because he may not be with the team next month as the Cubs GM job continues to loom.
  • WEEI.com's Alex Speier looked at everything we learned from the Francona situation and the fallout of Boston's collapse in a must-read piece for Red Sox fans.
  • The Boston Globe listed five potential candidates for the Sox's now vacant managerial job.

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