Indians conduct phone interviews

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are working the phones to find their next manager.

General manager Mark Shapiro and assistant GM Chris Antonetti, in Goodyear Ariz., for meetings, began phone interviews with candidates on Tuesday, the next step in finding a successor for Eric Wedge, who was fired last month following Cleveland's worst season since 1991.

Unlike the Houston Astros, who have publicly disclosed their managerial contenders, the Indians are keeping their search confidential. After the initial phone interviews of eight to 10 candidates, the Indians plan to bring a final group of three to five to Cleveland for formal interviews and to meet with the media.

Shapiro said he wants to hire his new manager by the end of the World Series.

On Monday, the Indians received permission from Boston to interview Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, widely believed to be one of Cleveland's top choices. Farrell has roots with the Indians, having pitched from the team (1987-90, 1995) and served as the club's minor league director (2001-06). He has an offseason home in Ohio.

However, Farrell has pulled out of the running, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported last week.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein came away from an exit meeting following Boston's elimination from the AL playoffs by the Los Angeles Angels feeling that Farrell will be back for a fourth year.

"Based on everything we've talked about, I have strong expectations that he's going to stay here," Epstein said. "He's an important guy in our organization."

It is not known if Shapiro has spoken with Farrell about the job.

Dave Clark, another former Indians player, may also be on Shapiro's list. Clark, though, will interview on Wednesday with the Astros. He served as Houston's interim manager for the final two weeks of the season after Cecil Cooper was fired.

Another name being circulated as a possible candidate in Cleveland is former major league manager Bobby Valentine. The 59-year-old, who spent the past six years managing Chiba Lotte in Japan, told The Plain Dealer that he would "be honored" to talk with the Indians about their manager's job.

Valentine recently signed a contract with ESPN as an in-studio analyst.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.