CHICAGO -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who met this past week with managerial candidate Ryne Sandberg, said there is no front-runner for the Cubs' job and he is still in the early stages of the interview process.
Sandberg, who is managing the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa team, was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year on Friday after leading the team to an 80-60 record. The Iowa Cubs begin a four-game series Friday against Memphis and need to win three of four to advance to the playoffs.
Hendry did talk with Sandberg about the Cubs' job but would not call it a formal interview.
"He needs to finish the season," Hendry said Friday. "We're not in any rush to complete interview processes or things like that. It was more normal dialogue and get-together after the game. It was no different than if I was going into Iowa in the middle of May."
There were reports that former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was a front-runner for the Cubs job.
"I told everybody I would not [comment], and I'm not going to get into comments about everybody," Hendry said of rumors. "The process will take the same time frame I said it would. You'll read different speculation every day about who the front-runner is and who's eliminated and who's not. Trust me, it's all basically conjecture because I haven't talked to anybody about any of it.
"There is no leading candidate, there hasn't been and there won't be until I take the final evaluations to [owner] Tom Ricketts and his family," Hendry said. "There's no sense talking about it, really."
Hendry has watched the team under interim manager Mike Quade, who entered Friday 6-3 since taking over Aug. 23 for Lou Piniella. Quade also is a candidate for the permanent job.
"I think Mike's done a real nice job of getting everybody involved and giving people chances and putting people in spots that we'd like them to be in so we can see who we've got at the end of the year," Hendry said. "It's not an easy job when you take over with five or six weeks left, and I think he's off to a real good start and handled himself at the highest level on and off the field."
This will be the third manager Hendry has hired for the Cubs following Dusty Baker and Piniella. The Cubs have won the National League Central in three of the past eight years.
Hendry isn't receiving resumes on a daily basis but has gotten phone calls from people interested in the post.
"I've been keeping files on potential managers since I was the assistant [general manager] here," Hendry said. "You use connections to find out about people, you talk to people who have played for managers before. It's an ongoing process."