Sep 30, 2011, 9:25 PM EDT
Excluding the job in Boston he just vacated, there’s only one current managerial opening for Terry
Francona. The White Sox, though, aren’t believed to be all that interested, in large part because Francona is sure to want to remain one of the game’s highest-paid managers (and deservedly so).
So, where to for Terry? The North Side of Chicago with the Cubs could be an option, depending on whom they hire as a general manager. It seems likely that the replacement for Jim Hendry there will want to make a change from Mike Quade.
But I think there’s another possibility. There’s been plenty of speculation that 67-year-old Tony La Russa could retire in St. Louis. Some have even suggested he might like to finish his career back with the White Sox (the team he managed from 1979-1986). La Russa, like Francona, is finishing up his latest contract, so he wouldn’t have to resign or get fired.
And if La Russa leaves, Francona to St. Louis seems like a perfect match. The Cardinals are used to having one of the game’s highest-paid managers, so spending $4 million per year on Francona isn’t a stretch, and Francona is pretty much the perfect manager to take over a contender and keep it contending. Even if they lose Albert Pujols this winter, the Cards would still very much be a threat in the NL Central.
So, it’s a possibility, even if it’s more likely at this point that La Russa will stay another year. Which could mean that Francona will go into broadcasting for a bit and wait for another glamour job to open up.
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