No front-runner for Cubs job

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who returned from watching the Triple-A Iowa Cubs play in Albuquerque, said his talks with Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg did not constitute a formal interview for the Cubs managerial job and there is no front-running candidate.

"Ryno needs to finish the season," Hendry said. "We're not in any rush to complete the interview process."

Sandberg was named Pacific Coast League manager or the year on Friday. A weekend series against Memphis will decide if the Iowa Cubs advance to the playoffs.

"It's more a normal dialogue and get-together after the game or for lunch," Hendry said of his talks with Sandberg. "It was no different than if I was going into Iowa in the middle of May."

Hendry was not interested in talking about who the favorites are for the job. A media report on Tuesday said former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was the leading candidate.

"You're going to read different speculation every day," Hendry said. "You'll hear about who the front-runners are and who was eliminated and who's not in it. It's all basically conjecture, because I haven't talked to anybody about any of it [as far as who is the leading candidates].

"As I said before, there's no leading candidate. There hasn't been, and there won't be until I take the final evaluation to [owner] Tom [Ricketts] and his family."

Former Cleveland manager Eric Wedge is the only known candidate to have had a formal interview with Hendry.

Sandberg will get his sometime after the Iowa season ends.

Gonzalez and Washington Nationals coach Pat Listach are also assured to get interviews, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.