Bobby Valentine, former Texas Rangers and New York Mets manager and current ESPN analyst, will be the 45th manager of the Boston Red Sox, according to reports.
Boston's WCVB TV's Mike Lynch reported on Twitter that Valentine and the Red Sox reached a verbal agreement, while ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes wrote on Twitter: Job was offered to him in Japan, where he was on personal business, and he immediately accepted, according to source.
Edes also reported that Valentine's personal business was a charity event in Japan that he attended on Monday. The newest Beantown manager is scheduled to fly back home at midnight ET on Wednesday.
Another former manager, Gene Lamont, was the other finalist for the job, according to reports.
Edes said that newest Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has said he expects to have a new manager in place by next Monday, when winter meetings begin in Dallas, leaving a short window for the team to decide on a manager and negotiate a deal.
Valentine managed the Rangers (1985-1992) and Mets (1996-2002) for a total of 15 seasons. He never won a division title with his teams, but Valentine did lead the Mets to a National League wild card berth and pennant in 2000 before losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Valentine replaces Terry Francona, who had a falling out of trust with former general manager and current Chiacgo Cubs president Theo Epstein because of a team collapse in the month of September that caused the Red Sox to miss the playoffs after a significant lead in the wild card standings. That collapse raised questions of whether Francona had lost the capacity to be an effective voice in the clubhouse anymore, something that seemed second-nature in years previous.
Valentine should provide that voice that the Red Sox are looking to maintain. The Red Sox themselves remain a very strong team. Now, it's a question of whether they can stay consistent when it matters.