Hale latest to interview, but who's the fave?

DeMarlo Hale interviewed Thursday for the Red Sox manager job, the fourth candidate to do so. J. Meric/Getty Images

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington & Co. have interviewed four candidates for the club's vacant managerial position. Now it's time to regroup, assess and determine its next step.

A team source said management and ownership would meet Friday to evaluate the current situation.

Even though the Red Sox have interviewed Los Angeles Dodgers coach Tim Wallach, New York Yankees coach Tony Pena, San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Baltimore Orioles third-base coach DeMarlo Hale, current Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell remains in the mix. Though both the Jays and Sox have kept it quiet, it's safe to assume they've begun compensation talks for the former Red Sox pitching coach.

The same team source said there was nothing new to report on Farrell, but the Red Sox were "impressed with all of the candidates interviewed" at this point.

It's no secret the Red Sox have longed to have Farrell as their manager in Boston. He was once thought to be the guy to eventually replace Terry Francona. In a roundabout way that could still happen, as the Red Sox and Blue Jays attempt to figure out compensation.

A baseball source told ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes that Ausmus made an impressive presentation Wednesday, but said there has been no discussion of teaming Ausmus with Farrell.

The Red Sox attempted to acquire Farrell a year ago, but they weren't willing to surrender to Toronto's asking price of what was rumored to be pitchers Clay Buchholz and/or Daniel Bard. If the sides end up in a stalemate again this time, Boston's Plan B could be to select from one of the four the team has already interviewed.

Cherington is up front and honest. So, it wouldn't be a surprise if he has told the current candidates Plans A and B.

So who's it going to be? For now, mum's the official word. Your guess is as good as anyone's at the point.

But things could change relatively quickly, so stay tuned ...