As the Red Sox managerial search advances, a familiar name has entered the picture.
According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have been in contact with former manager Alex Cora multiple times since Tuesday, when his season-long suspension – the result of an MLB investigation into sign-stealing by the 2017 Astros – ended with the conclusion of the World Series.
It is unknown how Cora’s candidacy is viewed by the Red Sox. He remains extremely popular with many members of the organization at the ownership, front office, and player levels.
But those relationships are based largely on Cora’s two seasons at the helm of the Red Sox, before the arrival of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom after the 2019 season. Bloom, who has been charged with leading the Red Sox managerial search, was noncommittal at the end of the 2020 season about how he viewed Cora as a potential replacement for 2020 manager Ron Roenicke.
“With respect to Alex – and I know this is a question I got a couple times during the season and I think you guys know where I stand on Alex – but I know I didn’t get into very much detail about it during the season,” Bloom said. “That was really out of respect to Ron. I thought that Ron deserved to be evaluated without anybody looking over his shoulder. So I know that’s not the case anymore, but I still don’t really want to get into any detail on my thoughts on Alex.
“I don’t want to say anything about Alex that I haven’t already said to Alex and obviously I haven’t spoken to Alex. So 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.”
Cora is not the only potential consideration for the Sox. According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have advanced in their managerial search, in a process that already had seven identified candidates:
· Twins bench coach Mike Bell
· Pirates bench coach Don Kelly
· Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza
· Marlins bench coach and offensive coordinator James Rowson
· Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker
· Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta
· Cubs third base coach Will Venable
The list is believed to include more names.
Some of those candidates, according to one major league source, have been informed that they are no longer in consideration for the managerial position. Others, according to multiple major league sources, have had a second interview with the Red Sox, and the team has met with some candidates in person.
Kelly, the Pirates bench coach, and Mendoza, the Yankees bench coach, both interviewed a second time, according to major league sources.
The search has not yet arrived at a narrowly defined pool of finalists, however. Nonetheless, the Red Sox do appear to be crossing names off their candidate list and, in the process, nearing a decision about who will take over as their manager for the 2021 season and beyond.
Peter Abraham contributed reporting to this story.