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Will Terry Francona Be Coaching In Chicago Next Year?

The Red Sox are letting Terry Francona leave. Does this mean he will be managing in Chicago next year? Z.W. Martin takes a closer look.

Jon Heyman has reported the Red Sox will not pick up Terry Francona's option for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, worth two years and $8.75 million. Boston instead will exercise the $750,000 buyout.

Does this mean Francona will be managing in Chicago next year? Which team? Cubs or Sox? Lets take a deeper look.

This move by the Red Sox is the most Boston thing evahhhh. Tommy From Quinzee fully approves. Francona has led the Red Sox to two World Series titles, five playoff births, one AL East crown and a 762-548 record (including the playoffs), good for a winning percentage of .582 in eight season. THAT guy isn't good enough for Boston.

I get that the Red Sox had one of the most epic collapses in the history of sports and that missing the playoffs two years in a row is comparable to genocide in Bahston, but holy hell, the guy's a rock star. Two days ago on our SBN Chicago podcast, I even called him one of two managers I would choose in a dream scenario for the Cubs.

However, it's easiest to connect the dots to the White Sox. Francona managed in the Pale Hose minor league system from 1991-1995 before moving on to the Tigers franchise. In those days, he was best known as Michael Jordan's minor league manager. But the safe money isn't always the way things go.

Ozzie Guillen was great for the Sox because he brought attention to Chicago's second team. He was a talking point, a way to drum up interest and, more importantly, sell tickets. However, that kind of outspoken manager hamstrung how Kenny Williams did things. Instead of building a team in his vision, Ozzie's prevailed. I am not sold a big name is what Williams wants right now. I am sold he wants Tampa Bay bench coach and former White Sox, Dave Martinez.

For a few reasons, but mostly because the White Sox, most likely, will be in a semi-rebuilding to all-out rebuilding mode in 2012. They just can't afford another $120 million bust of a season. A young manager they can build a team around seems to be the best solution.

As for the Cubs, Francona seems more likely. He is a big name for Chicago's big name team. They Cubs won't be any good next year, but can offer the former Boston skipper a ton of money and promise to build around him quickly with $30-40 million to play with in the next two years and a few good minor leaguers on their way. Personally, I think this is the best outcome for Francona and the Cubs.

However, I can also see Ricketts and Co. giving into the demands for the anointment of Ryne Sandberg. SBN Chicago contributor, Dennis Tarwood, will explain why that is a bad idea in the near future.

However this shakes down, expect to hear the name Terry Francona on repeat for a while. Except on Sundays. That's god's Bears' day.

Twitter @ZWMartin