MILWAUKEE -- The Red Sox and Cubs are expected to have a second face-to-face meeting with managerial candidate Dale Sveum at this week's general managers meetings.

Sveum is scheduled to meet Boston's ownership group Wednesday, and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he would also meet with the Cubs, although it is not sure whether that will be Wednesday or Thursday.

Sveum, the hitting coach for the Brewers, is widely believed to be the front-runner in Boston, and it is possible the Cubs are going through a second interview only because he is available.

If he does go to Boston, that would remove one of the names from the Cubs’ list of managerial candidates, taking it to five depending on whether you believe Terry Francona is a serious or a courtesy choice.

The latest named added to the Cubs' mix was DeMarlo Hale, a graduate of Vocational High School and Francona’s bench coach the past two seasons in Boston.

Hale was interviewed over the phone Monday by GM Jed Hoyer, the Cubs forgoing a personal meeting because they know him so well.

Obviously, the Red Sox are ahead of the Cubs in choosing a manager. The Cubs have brought in Sveum, Pete Mackanin, Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar Jr. for Wrigley Field interviews.

“Right now, we've completed our interviews," baseball president Theo Epstein said. "So we have kind of stepped back and now move into the evaluation and decision phase."

Is there a timetable for the Cubs?

“There's no real deadline, but this is an important week. I'd like to think we can move into the decision-making phase this week," Epstein said.

Epstein and Hoyer could have  more follow-up interviews other than Sveum, or they may not. And, of course, the Ricketts family will have final approval, although that would seem to be a formality since Epstein has been entrusted with almost unlimited decision-making power.

"I think the Ricketts would meet with one candidate and the four of us would sit down and talk," Epstein said.

 dvandyck@tribune.com



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