Fredi Gonzalez is emerging as the leading candidate to be the Cubs' new manager, reports Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times .
Gonzalez, fired by the Marlins earlier this year for no apparent reason, is a hot name around baseball who has also been heavily linked to the Braves to be Bobby Cox' successor.
Cubs general manager has placed a priority on major-league experiencing managing, which Gonzalez has. That stacks the deck against prohibitive favorite Ryne Sandberg, although he is certainly the most serious (and perhaps only) candidate without that experience Hendry will look at. Sandberg has spent the last four seasons managing in the minors with a goal of being a big-league manager one day.
One thing in Gonzalez's favor is that he and Hendry worked together in the Marlins organization previously, as well as Hendry coaching an opposing team of Gonzalez's back when Fredi played in high school. Gonzalez wouldn't confirm if he's expected to interview. Hendry has already interviewed former Indians skipper Eric Wedge and is in the process of interviewing Sandberg.
Hendry is also expected to interview current Cubs interim manager Mike Quade and Yankees manager Joe Girardi, unless New York extends Girardi's deal before Hendry can talk to him. He also has additional candidates to be manager, although its not known who is on the list. Bobby Valentine is one who has expressed interest in the job.
Hendry plans to name a manager by the organizational meetings which take place just after the World Series.
-- Evan Brunell