Alex Cora has a new bench coach.
A major league source confirmed multiple reports that the Red Sox are naming Cubs third base coach Will Venable as Cora’s bench coach. Venable, 38, has been on the Cubs' coaching staff for three years, following a nine-year big league career with the Padres, Rangers, and Dodgers (2008-16).
Venable — who attended Princeton, where he played both baseball and basketball — grew up around the game, as his father, Max Venable, had a 12-year big league career. That background helped him to blend traditional baseball sensibilities with modern analytical perspectives in a fashion that has endeared him to both players and front-office members, making him the sort of natural conduit who profiles as a future manager.
Venable had a first-round interview with the Red Sox for their managerial vacancy in October. At the time, some evaluators viewed him as a near-certain future manager with the only question about his current candidacy being whether he had enough experience for the position.
“He should be managing some day, if not now,” said one major league source.
Now, Venable appears to be taking another step toward gaining that experience.
Ron Roenicke had served as Cora’s bench coach in 2018-19, before serving as manager for the 2020 season. The Sox hired Jerry Narron as their bench coach in 2020, but did not retain either Roenicke or Narron after the season.
Aside from those two and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson, the Sox retained the rest of their coaching staff.