Alex Cora, who led the Red Sox to a franchise-best 108 victories en route to a 2018 World Series title, never wanted to leave Boston. However, the 45-year-old was relieved of his duties as Red Sox manager (though the team framed it as a “mutual parting of ways”) this past January, owing to his role in the Astros’ explosive cheating scandal perpetrated years earlier.
Now that his year-long suspension is over, Cora is free to return to the MLB coaching ranks if he so chooses, and it appears one team is already hot on his trail. Though most of the openings around the league have already been filled, one prominent vacancy remains—the Boston Red Sox, who are looking to replace one-and-done manager Ron Roenicke.
How strong is Boston’s reported interest in a Cora reunion? According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, the team has been in contact with Cora “multiple times” since his MLB reinstatement on Tuesday. The Tigers didn’t hesitate to make A.J. Hinch—another casualty of Houston’s sign-stealing debacle—their new manager and it would seem the Red Sox are similarly unfazed in regard to Cora.
Of course, the Red Sox are now led by Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, who was still a member of the Rays’ front office when Cora was first hired to replace John Farrell in 2017. Bloom may have his own coaching preferences—the Red Sox have already met with multiple candidates including Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, who was recently granted a second interview with the club. It’s hard to gauge if Bloom is genuinely interested in bringing the former skipper back aboard (Speier notes Cora remains “extremely popular” within the organization) or if he’s merely doing his due diligence. Regardless, the Cora buzz doesn’t seem to be dying down.
Bloom was evasive when asked about Cora earlier this offseason, only offering, “There will be a time where I can get into more detail on Alex and his situation and my thoughts on it, but that time isn’t now, so I’m hoping everybody will respect that.” Along with Cora, the Red Sox have also been linked to the aforementioned Kelly, Mike Bell of the Twins, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, Miami bench coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson, associate Padres manager Skip Schumaker, Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta and Cubs third-base coach Will Venable. The Red Sox haven’t placed a firm timetable on hiring a new manager, though with free agency fast approaching, Boston should be motivated to get something done soon.