Astros Narrow Managerial Search To 2 Front-Runners

The next manager of the Houston Astros will most likely emerge from the coaching staffs of AL East. Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar are the front-runners to take on the Astros' open managerial position, a major league source has informed Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Both candidates at least fit the "younger" criterion laid out by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow earlier this week.

Martinez, 47, is in his fifth year as Tampa Bay's bench coach. Though he has no professional managerial experience, working alongside one of the game's best managers, Joe Maddon, likely works in Martinez's favor. A shortstop for nine different organizations across 16 major-league seasons, Martinez is very familiar with the ins and outs of big league clubhouses.

Bogar, 45, is in his fourth year with the Red Sox organization but first as its bench coach. Unlike Martinez, Bogar has a wealth of managing experience at the minor-league level. The former infielder began his managing career with the Greeneville Astros -- Houston's Rookie League affiliate -- in 2004, leading the team to an Appalachian League title. Bogar moved up to the Astros' Single-A affiliate in Lexington the following year, winning a title there as well before moved on to the Indians Double-A affiliate in Akron for two seasons. In all, Bogar won three manager of the year awards in four seasons.

The Astros are expected to make their final decision on their new manager by the end of next week.

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