Dale Sveum dines with top Sox execs

MILWAUKEE -- Top Red Sox brass dined with managerial candidate Dale Sveum on Wednesday afternoon, but emerged from the meeting mum on whether they had decided on him as their next skipper.

"We're not going to say anything until we get to a conclusion," chairman Tom Werner said when returning to the Pfister Hotel following the lunch meeting.

When pressed on the issue, Werner said "we haven't concluded anything" and "as of now, we don't have a manager."

"We had a good lunch. Really, that's all it was," Werner said.

Considered the odds-on favorite to get the job, Sveum is the only candidate who has had a second interview so far with the Red Sox, though general manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday he expected to summon a second finalist. That second finalist has yet to be identified.

"I don't envision a scenario where there won't be at least one more candidate discussed," Cherington said Tuesday. "As in every question, most every question, I can't rule anything out, but I would expect at least one other candidate discussed."

As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the Red Sox had yet to make an offer to Sveum, according to a major league source.

Cherington and Sveum were joined at the lunch meeting at a restaurant near the hotel hosting the GM meetings by Werner, team owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino.

Cherington was expected to address the Boston media later in the day.

Sveum, the Brewers' hitting coach, was one of five people formally interviewed for the Red Sox manager's job, which was left vacant when Terry Francona left following the season. Besides Sveum, the Sox have also talked to Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin, Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., Blue Jays third base coach Torey Lovullo and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont.

Sveum is also a candidate for the Cubs' managerial position. The Cubs are still serious players for Sveum, according to a major league source. He met with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer on Tuesday, the source said. The Cubs also made follow-up phone calls with DeMarlo Hale, Mike Maddux, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Pete Mackanin, according to ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.

Cherington has said he hoped to have a manager hired by Thanksgiving, which is a little more than a week away.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.