Reports: Sox holding up Cubs on Lovullo

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox are refusing to allow the Cubs to interview bench coach Torey Lovullo for their open managerial position.

As part of a bitter process over compensation that dragged out for months in the fall of 2011, the teams made an agreement when Theo Epstein left Boston to take over as general manager in Chicago that Epstein would not hire away any more Red Sox personnel. Lovullo was not with the Red Sox at the time of those discussions, but it seems the battle lines may have been drawn anew anyway.

As Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes, "It's unclear whether Red Sox upper management -- which had sparred internally with Epstein even before he left -- is trying to make the Cubs squirm before relenting. Organizations rarely prevent employees from seeking clear-cut promotions with other teams, especially in the case of a coach and a manager vacancy. But if Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino’s organization keeps Lovullo under its thumb much longer, Cubs insiders don’t foresee Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer having the stomach for another drawn-out hissing match."

If the Cubs choose not to force the issue with Lovullo, chances are that Rick Renteria may well be named as the team's new manager sooner, rather than later. The Cubs have consistently said they want their search to be over before the start of the winter meetings, which begin on November 11.