On Tuesday, former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge, 45, met with Epstein and the front office to discuss the vacant manager's job. The Cubs also have interviewed Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Dave Martinez and Manny Acta.
The Cubs also are expected to interview Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, 48, this week, according to FOX Sports and MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal. Epstein hired Lovullo to manage the Red Sox's Triple-A Pawtucket team in 2010.
Lovullo also managed in the Indians' Minor League system. He interviewed for the Dodgers' job in 2006 and Boston's managerial opening prior to '12, when the Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine.
In an October interview with Fangraphs, Lovullo said the Boston approach has been to be "very dynamic." Epstein has said he wants someone who is creative and communicates well.
"What we've done here is create an environment that these guys have bought into," Lovullo said in the Fangraphs interview. "We might be asking for something in April you won't see again until August. But these guys will be ready to execute it, and understand it, because we talked about it and believe in it. We want to be dynamic. We want to be able to switch roles if we need to, and score a run a different way than a three-run home run."
The only deadline Epstein has set is to have someone in place by Nov. 11, when the General Manager Meetings are held. Dale Sveum was dimissed on Sept. 30 after two seasons as the Cubs manager.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer hired Ausmus as a special assistant with the Padres in November 2010, when Hoyer was the GM in San Diego, and Ausmus was the third person with a San Diego connection to interview for the Chicago job. Renteria, 51, who also interviewed with the Mariners and Tigers, is the Padres' bench coach. Hinch, 39, is currently involved with player development in the Padres' front office.
Epstein has said he wants someone with managerial experience, which Ausmus lacked. Ausmus played for 18 seasons, but his only time as a manager was with Team Israel in a qualifying tournament for the World Baseball Classic.
Renteria does not have any time in the big leagues as a manager, but he has worked in the Minor Leagues, beginning in 1998, as manager in the Marlins organization with the Class A Brevard County team. He left the Marlins system after managing in Double-A in 2001, and he was a hitting coach for the Padres' Class A Lake Elsinore Minor League team in '03.
In 2004, Renteria took over as Lake Elsinore's manager, and after three seasons, he moved up to manage Triple-A Portland. Renteria joined the Padres' Major League staff in '08, and he has been San Diego's bench coach since '11. He also managed Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic this year.
Wedge, 45, was the American League manager of the year in 2007, when the Indians won 96 games and finished first in the AL Central. He compiled a 561-573 record in Cleveland but was dismissed after a 97-loss season in '09. Wedge had been the Mariners' manager since '11, posting a 213-273 record, but he parted ways with the club at the end of the season. He also missed 27 games this year after suffering a minor stroke.
Martinez, 49, the only candidate who played for the Cubs, has been the Rays' bench coach the last six seasons. Acta, 44, managed the Nationals (2007-09) and Indians ('10-12).