Could Managerial Market Be Opening Up for Alex Cora?

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The Major League Baseball managerial merry-go-round started slowly going into motion Saturday. And with it came thoughts on Alex Cora's next landing spot.

The Detroit Tigers announced Saturday that manager Ron Gardenhire was retiring immediately, with bench coach Lloyd McClendon taking over on an interim basis. It marks the first official managing opening heading into the offseason.

It also represents a potential option for the former Red Sox manager.

Cora interviewed with the Tigers during the 2017 postseason, just after his Astros beat the Red Sox in the American League Division Series and prior to taking on New York in the ALCS. The get-together with the Detroit executives was prior Cora's meeting with the Red Sox a few days later.

No communication can be made with Cora, or potential fellow candidate A.J. Hinch, until after the completion of the World Series due to their current one-year suspensions stemming from the 2017 Astros cheating scandal.

The opportunities for managing jobs this offseason would appear to slim, with most of the underperforming clubs possessing first- or second-year managers.

Most in the industry still believe Cora is in play for the Red Sox job, which Ron Roenicke recently reaffirmed on WEEI he hoped would remain his.

Another possibility for Cora could be Texas, the team that gave him his first managerial interview. Current manager Chris Woodward's Rangers teams have struggled in his first two seasons as manager, going a combined 96-118. He has one more year left on his current contract, with a team option for 2022.

It remains to be seen, however, how front offices view the 2020 season, with some decision-makers perhaps coming to the determination that the out-of-the-ordinary landscape didn't lend itself to a fair evaluation.

Of the teams under .500, there are few if any logical managing hot seats:

Orioles: Brandon Hyde is in just his second season of what was always perceived as a slow rebuilding process.
Red Sox: Perhaps the most likely change.
Tigers: Open for business.
Royals: Mike Matheny, first-year manager.
Seattle: Scott Servais seems to be entrenched in Jerry DiPoto's rebuild.
Angels: Joe Maddon, first-year manager.
Rangers: The Woodward conundrum.
Mets: Luis Rojas, first-year manager.
Nationals: Dave Martinez isn't going anywhere.
Reds: David Bell, will probably get more than just 2019 and '20.
Brewers: Craig Counsell does't appear to be going anywhere.
Pirates: Derek Shelton first-year manager.
Giants: Gabe Kapler, first-year manager.
Rockies: Bud Black is signed through 2022.
Diamondbacks: Torey Lovullo isn't going anywhere.