Indians Hire Terry Francona

8:16pm: The Indians aren't commenting on Olney's tweet referring to Francona's out clauses, according to Hoynes (via Twitter).

7:30pm: Francona's option contains out clauses that he can exercise if the people he's working for are dismissed from the organization, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Presumably, that's in reference to Antonetti and Shapiro.

MONDAY, 9:57am: The Indians announced that they have signed Francona to a four-year deal through 2016.

SATURDAY, 6:25pm: The Indians have announced the hiring of Francona and will formally introduce him at a press conference on Monday morning.

4:42pm: The Indians and Francona are discussing a four-year deal, according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer.  The manager also implied to Hoynes that while a deal may be close, it has yet to be finalized.

3:24pm: The Indians are set to hire Terry Francona as manager with an announcement likely for Monday, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  Francona, currently an analyst for ESPN, said last night that his two options at present were to either manager in Cleveland or remain with the network.

The former Red Sox skipper has linked to the vacancy ever since the dismissal of Manny Acta, but many wondered if Cleveland could offer him a satisfactory deal.  Sandy Alomar Jr. was also viewed as a strong candidate for the job, having guided the club for its final six games of the season with obvious ties to the organization.  At the same time, Tito has strong relationships with GM Chris Antonetti and team president Mark Shapiro following his 2001 stint with Cleveland as a special assistant to the GM.

Francona now takes over for a club that finished 68-94 in 2012 and has a limited budget to work with.  For his career, the 53-year-old has a 1,029–915 record across a total of 12 seasons as a big league skipper.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.