From the San Diego Union Tribune’s Tom Krasovic.

The Padres have decided on Bud Black as their manager, according to major league sources.

Black, 49, is expected to attend the team’s award banquet in downtown San Diego on Thursday. Black, a former San Diego State pitcher who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, replaces Bruce Bochy, who had been the club’s manager since October 1994 before accepting a three-year contract with the Giants last month.

Before and after the Padres interviewed Black, club officials with the Padres, Angels and Indians described him as highly intelligent and sensible, an excellent communicator with good people skills and a good sense of humor. With the Angels, one of his strengths was working with the team’s pitchers and catchers on game plans.

In addition, the Padres have swapped 2B Josh Barfield to the Indians in exchange for infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff and right-hander Andrew Brown.

After accepting a spot on Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff in Philadelphia, former Astros/A’s/Mets manager Art Howe has decided to become 3rd base coach of the Texas Rangers.  Art’s still lighting up rooms all over the place, it seems.

While the New York Times’ Murray Chass floats the notion of a D-Train to Flushing trade, Newsday’s David Lennon predicts the winning bid for Seibu Lions SP Daisuke Matsuzaka, “will be significantly below the early projections of $20-$30 million.”

The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports the Red Sox have chosen not to exercise their $7.5 million option on Keith Foulke.

Theo Epstein will have to get creative in the weeks ahead because the market for closers isn’t strong, though Foulke, who was beset with knee, elbow, and back issues last season but pitched well late in the year, could exercise his $3.75 million player option to return to the Sox by Friday.

The team was expected to decline its option, and if Foulke doesn’t return, he’s owed a $1.5 million buyout; he also gets that if he exercises the $3.75 million option, bringing his total compensation to $5.25 million.

Along with the recent hiring of Allen Baird, Gary DiSarcina has been added to Epstein’s staff.