St. Louis, MO (AP) - Tony La Russa is returning to the Cardinals as manager on a multiyear contract, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney, but there will be at least one change to his coaching staff.
Sources said Hal McRae, the team's hitting coach, has been fired -- and the leading candidate to replace him is Mark McGwire, the former Cardinals slugger.
The 65-year-old La Russa has been mulling his future since the NL Central champion Cardinals were swept in the division series by the Dodgers on Oct. 10. His two-year, $8.5 million contract expires at the end of the month.
"We're getting closer," La Russa, who has managed the team for 14 years, said earlier Sunday. "But nothing has been decided. I can't tell you anything yet."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted sources that believed a formal announcement that La Russa would be returning could be made early in the week.