With Francona on board, Tribe looks to set staff

With Francona on board, Tribe looks to set staff

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have their new manager: Terry Francona. The next step in Cleveland's offseason is identifying the men Francona wants surrounding him as part of the club's coaching staff.

Over the next few days, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti will begin the process of creating a staff with Francona. Both men were scheduled to fly to Arizona on Monday night for the team's organizational meetings this week.

"We'll try to make sure we get the right staff around Terry," Antonetti said on Monday. "They're exceptionally important hires for the organization. Ultimately, they're the ones that are pivotal in helping guys develop and get better at the Major League level."

Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the Indians' interim manager for six games following Manny Acta's dismissal on Sept. 27, has been offered a role on Francona's staff. Francona felt it was important to extend the offer himself after being named Cleveland's manager on Saturday.

Alomar also interviewed for the full-time managerial role.

"Just to be completely candid," Francona said, "because Sandy was a candidate for the job, I reached out to him immediately, just because I thought it was respectful. He's very aware of how I feel about him and his baseball ability and my relationship with him.

"Talking staff other than that is probably not very fair, because you're going to leave somebody's name out."

There has been speculation that Brad Mills -- relieved of his duties as manager of the Astros earlier this season -- might be in the mix for a job with the Indians. Mills was also a part of Francona's coaching staffs in Philadelphia and Boston. Francona would not go into any specifics, except to say he was considering current members of Cleveland's staff, along with other internal and external candidates.

Beyond his six-game interim stint, Alomar has no managing experience, but he has interviewed for jobs with the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs in the past two years. The Indians understand that teams -- Boston and Colorado could be in the mix -- might want to interview Alomar for a managerial role this offseason as well.

"I would expect he'll get other opportunities to interview for a manager's job," Antonetti said. "Sandy has a lot to offer any organization. Selfishly, I'm hopeful that he will stay here, because he's had such a huge impact on us. At the same time, I want what's ultimately best for Sandy."