As the Cubs eye Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo for an interview in the next few days, don’t take your eye off Padres bench coach Rick Renteria.

An exhaustive managerial search has narrowed the field of likely replacements for Dale Sveum to a select few in the final days before a decision is expected, with Renteria’s strong player-development background and rapport with young players keeping him in a position of strength.

That position appeared to get stronger Sunday, when the field was reduced by one with the
Tigers’ hiring of former big-league catcher Brad Ausmus. Ausmus, who had been a special assistant in the Padres’ front office, had interviewed with the Cubs on Friday, but they didn’t know whether he would be an ideal fit because of the player-development emphasis they expect the job to require in the next few seasons.

The Cubs and Mariners are the last two teams with managerial openings, and both have
interviewed Renteria. Indications are Renteria favors the Cubs over the Mariners.