Who might emerge as a candidate for the Red Sox managerial job now that the team has announced that Ron Roenicke won’t be back in 2021?
Past managerial experience seems an unlikely prerequisite given that Alex Cora led the Sox to the best season in franchise history in 2018 in his first year as a manager. There’s likely to be a prevalence of candidates who would be potential first-timers.
Here’s a list of possibilities based on industry speculation:
▪ Cora, former Red Sox manager: Until the Red Sox say definitively that he isn’t a candidate, his name will get mentioned based on the strength of pre-existing
▪ Carlos Febles, Red Sox third base coach: Interviewed for the job in January.
▪ Sam Fuld, Phillies integrative baseball performance director: The New Hampshire native – viewed as one of the brightest young minds in the game – played in Tampa Bay for three seasons, at a time when current Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was a high-ranking executive with the Rays.
▪ Mark Kotsay, Athletics quality control coach: Interviewed for the job in January; played in Boston in 2008.
▪ Matt Quatraro, Rays bench coach: He has a prior relationship with Bloom from Tampa Bay and is highly regarded from his work both with the Rays and, before that, with Cleveland.
▪ Luis Urueta, Diamondbacks bench coach: Interviewed for the job in January; had been interviewed for a potential coaching staff job in Tampa Bay prior to 2018 by current Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
▪ Jason Varitek, Red Sox special assistant to baseball operations: Obviously the former Sox catcher is a familiar name, and he’s spent time in the dugout in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but it’s worth noting that he wasn’t interviewed in January after Cora departed.
▪ A.J. Hinch, former Astros manager: Hinch achieved incredible success with a data-driven Astros front office, though it’s fair to wonder why – if the Red Sox felt comfortable hiring him after his 2020 suspension due to the investigation into the 2017-18 Astros – they wouldn’t simply prioritize re-hiring Cora. Like Cora, Hinch is suspended through the end of the 2020 postseason. He’s a long shot to be part of the search process.