The usually reliable John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports is reporting that the team will name Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While there has not yet been an official announcement, the choice has since been confirmed by others, including Nick Piecoro and Jon Heyman, so it appears to be close to a done deal. Lovullo will become the 10th manager in team history.
This is no great shock: as soon as Red Sox GM Mike Hazen was appointed to the Diamondbacks' general manager position, speculation immediately began that Lovullo would become Chip Hale's replacement. The two men have a long relationship, going back even before Boston, to their time in the Cleveland Indians organization. Hazen also brought over Amiel Sawdaye to act as his assistant GM.
The team interviewed a number of other candidates for the position, and reports suggest the decision came down to a choice between Lovullo and Reno Aces' manager Phil Nevin. Nevin was previously rumored to be Hale's mid-season replacement, but Hale managed to see out the season. It remains to be seen whether Nevin will stay with the organization.
The next step will be for Lovullo to put together a coaching staff for the 2017 campaign, deciding who should stay or go. Fan interest will likely surround in particular, the fate of pitching coach Mike Butcher, who has been broadly criticized for the performance of our staff this year.
Update. And now it IS official