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Cubs have interest in Red Sox coach Torey Lovullo

BostRed Sox manager John Farrell right speaks with bench coach Torey Lovullo left during baseball team's workout Fenway Park BostTuesday

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, speaks with bench coach Torey Lovullo, left, during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park, in Boston, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. The Red Sox will face the winner of Wednesday's wild-card game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) ORG XMIT: MASR108

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Updated: November 28, 2013 6:54AM

ST. LOUIS — The Cubs have started to narrow their list of ­managerial candidates. But could Dale Sveum’s replacement be a guy the front office hasn’t even interviewed yet?

Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo sounded like a guy looking forward to the interview opportunity that sources say is ­expected to come within a week, once the World Series ends.

In fact, the idea of going from a big-spending perennial World Series contender to a last-place, pitching-bereft organization with mid-market spending ability seemed almost exciting to the man Cubs president Theo Epstein once hired to manage Boston’s Class AAA affiliate.

“Look, when Theo was here [as general manager], the operation was very efficient and well run,” Lovullo said Saturday before Game 3 of the World Series. “I know he’s doing the same thing there in ­Chicago. We have mutual respect.

“And it’s only a matter of time before things start to get real good there in Chicago. Whoever sits in that seat is going to be the right man. … Becoming a manager is something everybody aspires to do at this level.”

Lovullo, 48, has interviewed for three big-league openings in the last seven years (with the Dodgers, Indians and Red Sox), and he is in line for at least two more this time around, with the Detroit Tigers ­reportedly targeting him.

“Nothing has come up,” he said when asked specifically about the Cubs. “Nothing formally has come up. Nothing that I’m aware of has even happened between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs.”

Sources from both organizations say the Cubs have not ­officially asked for permission to talk to him.

For now, he says, he is concentrating on the Series and trying to keep the distraction potential down.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are following up with more interviews with candidates they continue to have interest in, according to sources — including San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Padres assistant general manager A.J. Hinch scheduled in the coming days.

Renteria, 51, has also interviewed for the Seattle Mariners’ vacancy and appears to be the favorite to land the Cubs’ job, according to multiple industry sources.

Veteran big-league manager Eric Wedge, the most experienced among the Cubs’ candidates — and the guy whose resignation last month created the vacancy in ­Seattle — interviews in person Tuesday after phone interviews with Cubs brass.

The Cubs also have interviewed former Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez.

Sources say the Cubs also have interviewed a seventh, “mystery” candidate.

The Cubs remain on track to complete the process ahead of the Nov. 11-13 general managers meetings, and other teams’ interest in their candidates won’t affect their process, insiders say.

Which could give Lovullo — a “manager-in-waiting,” according to Red Sox manager John Farrell — a legitimate say in the process. If not a final word.

“Overall, there’s a general excitement about the thought of something like that happening some day in my career,” said Lovullo, a former big-league infielder who was Farrell’s first-base coach in Toronto in 2011 and ’12. “But I’m not here to fast-forward anything. I’m not here to make it happen before its time.

“I’m employed by and work for a tremendous organization that I’m very content with. In life, timing is everything. If the timing is right, the situation is what it’s supposed to be, then that’s the next step.”


Twitter: @GDubCub

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