The Red Sox are still in need of a pitching coach. One of their top choices, however, might no longer be available.
Former Giants pitching coach Andrew Bailey was pinpointed early on as the strongest candidate to replace Dave Bush, who was fired last month. But Bailey reportedly interviewed for the Yankees’ bench coach position Monday, a bigger job that puts him just a seat away from New York manager Aaron Boone.
Boone’s former bench coach, Carlos Mendoza, was introduced as Mets’ manager Monday.
A two-time All-Star reliever and eight-year big-league veteran, Bailey is widely respected throughout the industry as a pitching coach for his work with both the Giants and the Angels. He played in Boston in 2012-13, as well, and is good friends with chief baseball officer Craig Breslow.
Pitching development and success in conjunction with bolstering their rotation with some star power is at the top of the Sox’ to-do list this offseason. Bailey, presumably, was supposed to be a part of that fold, but the Sox might have to pivot.
Along with a pitching coach, the Red Sox still need to hire a third-base coach following the dismissal of Carlos Febles.
Baseball’s annual Rule 5 draft is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Winter Meetings. The Red Sox have until 6 p.m. Tuesday to decide who they would like to protect from it.
Players signed at age 18 or younger must be added to their club’s 40-man roster within five seasons of signing or else they become eligible for the draft. Similarly, players signed at 19 or older must be protected within four seasons. The Sox added five players to their 40-man last year to keep them from Rule 5 eligibility: infielder David Hamilton, outfielders Wilyer Abreu and Ceddanne Rafaela, and pitchers Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy. (All five made their big-league debuts last season.)
Three unprotected Sox pitchers were taken: Thaddeus Ward (by the Nationals), Noah Song (Phillies), and A.J. Politi (Orioles). Both Song and Politi were returned to the organization after their new teams opted not to keep them on the active roster for the full season, while Ward made 26 appearances with Washington last year.
Pitching prospects Wikelman Gonzalez and Shane Drohan are no brainers to be protected in 2023. Luis Perales will be protected, too. Even though he hasn’t pitched above High A, he’s just 20 years old.
Candidates on the bubble include infielder Eddinson Paulino, catcher Stephen Scott, and pitchers Angel Bastardo, Justin Hagenman, and Ryan Fernandez. Song will likely remain unprotected by the Red Sox again.
Infielder Brainer Bonaci would have been added to the 40-man roster, but he violated the minor league Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, which will presumably leave him unprotected.
The deadline to tender 2024 contracts for 40-man roster players not yet eligible for free agency is Friday. The players are all under team control, but should the Red Sox not think they’re worthy of a raise or would rather open a roster spot, they can decline that option, making the player a free agent. The Red Sox have 29 players to make a decision on, and non-tender candidates include pitchers Joe Jacques, Walter, Logan Gillaspie, Zack Weiss, and Wyatt Mills. On the position player front, Hamilton stands out . . . The Pirates have hired Red Sox scout Justin Horowitz as their director of amateur scouting, according to ESPN. Horowitz began with the Red Sox as an intern in 2012, and played a key role in the Sox selecting Jarren Duran in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. He also was part of the process in selecting top prospects Marcelo Mayer (2021) and Mikey Romero (2022) in the first round.