Announcement likely this week

BOSTON -- Terry Francona appears set to become the next manager of the Boston Red Sox, but an announcement may not come until later this week, the Boston Herald reported in Monday's editions.

Team president Larry Lucchino returned to Boston Tuesday night and the team was expected to spend part of Wednesday completing the search process and planning Francona's news conference, according to the Boston Globe.

Francona has reportedly beaten out Texas Rangers coach DeMarlo Hale, Anaheim Angels coach Joe Maddon and Los Angeles Dodgers coach Glenn Hoffman.

Last week, in the midst of contract negotiations related to his then-pending trade to Boston, pitcher Curt Schilling strongly endorsed Francona as one of the reasons he wanted to join the Red Sox.

"I have made it known that he would be a reason I'd be interested in going to Boston," Schilling said of Francona, his manager when they were with the Phillies. "I only said that because it was my understanding that he was a slam-dunk for the job anyway. I love the guy. He's a great manager."

The Herald reports that Francona likely will keep pitching coach Dave Wallace, hitting coach Ron Jackson and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas from former manager Grady Little's staff. Hale might be offered a job on Francona's staff, along with the possible hirings of former major league star Tim Raines and current Montreal Expos coach Brad Mills, according to the report.