Neither article calls him the top candidate, just someone they've had "internal discussions" about.
These articles indicate a few things to me. The first is that as I've maintained before, Ryne Sandberg is considered a hot managerial candidate outside of the Chicago Cubs fanbase. The second is that if Theo Epstein does take the Cubs GM job (something I still consider unlikely, albeit not impossible), he would definitely consider Ryne Sandberg to take over for Mike Quade. Finally, it indicated to me that Sandberg will be a manager in the major leagues. If not in 2012, then shortly thereafter.