The finalists for the Rangers' managerial opening are interim manager Tim Bogar, Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister and Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, according to an announcement from the team. Texas will meet with each of the candidates for a final interview sometime in the next couple of days and will likely make a decision by the end of the week, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
With today's announcement, candidates Mike Maddux, Steve Buechele, Torey Lovullo, Alex Cora and Joe McEwing have been eliminated from consideration. Maddux, who is the team's pitching coach, is expected to return despite his expiring contract.
Bogar, who led the team to a 14-8 record at the end of the season after the resignation of Ron Washington, is considered the strong favorite to be named permanent manager, with Banister lagging a little behind and Cash being considered a longshot due to his age and lack of coaching experience. Grant notes that Cash "wowed Rangers officials with a doctrine on how he would approach managing", earning himself a second interview with the club.
The Rangers are reportedly looking for a manager similar to Terry Francona or Clint Hurdle, so their list of finalists makes sense. Bogar served as a coach under Francona in Boston for four seasons, Banister has been Hurdle's bench coach in Pittsburgh for the last four years, and Cash played under Francona before serving as his bullpen coach for the last two seasons.