CHICAGO, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Former Chicago Cubs great Ryne Sandberg won't be a candidate to replace Von Joshua as the Cubs' hitting coach, sources say.
Unnamed team sources said that Sandberg. 50, is instead likely to return as manager of the Cubs' Double-A minor league team, the Tennessee Smokies, in Kodak, Tenn., The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
The newspaper says Sandberg has made no secret of wanting to succeed Lou Piniella as manager in 2011. Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry has said Sandberg's assignment was up to farm director Oneri Fleita.
"Ryne had a Hall of Fame career here as a player," Piniella said. "I'm not the one who is going to be hiring the next manager here, but certainly he'll be in the mix."
The Tribune said Piniella also has the option of staying beyond 2011.
"I don't want to talk beyond next year," Piniella told the newspaper. "I've been very appreciative that I could come to a wonderful city like this, a wonderful franchise like this, and get a chance to close out my career. It's been everything I've bargained for and even more."