The Red Sox announced Monday morning that they’ve exercised a club option on manager Alex Cora that covers both the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
“I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to manage the Red Sox,” Cora said in a statement within this morning’s press release. “We experienced so many special moments as a team and as a city in 2021, but we still have unfinished business to take care of. I am excited about the current state of our organization and eager to continue my work with our front office, coaches, players, and everyone who makes this such a special place.”
Cora returned to the Red Sox dugout after a one-year absence that came about after he was banned from the game for a year after commissioner Rob Manfred’s investigation into the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal. Cora, the bench coach in Houston that season, was determined to have played an integral role in putting together the team’s trash-can scheme. The 2018 Red Sox, managed by Cora, were also investigated by Manfred for improper usage of the video review room. That investigation stripped the Red Sox of a draft pick, but replay coordinator J.T. Watkins was the only employee punished; Manfred’s announcement of Cora’s punishment stated that the one-year ban was due solely to his role in the 2017 Astros scandal.
The Sox temporarily elevated Ron Roenicke to manage to club in 2020 and conducted a “search” for a new manager last offseason that seemed largely for show. The Red Sox conducted a handful of other interviews, but Cora was seen as the favorite from the outset and was ultimately returned to his prior post as soon as he was eligible.
Regardless of one’s thoughts on Cora’s history, the success he’s had as Boston’s skipper is reflected in an outstanding 284-202 record. Managers are evaluated based upon far more than wins and losses in today’s game, but a .584 winning percentage and a World Series title in his first year on the job in 2018 are both surely driving factors in today’s decision. The 2021 Red Sox, in particular, weren’t expected to be World Series contenders, but they nevertheless won 92 games and made a deep postseason run, culminating in a 4-2 ALCS loss to the Astros.
“Alex’s leadership of our staff and our players was critical to all that we accomplished in 2021,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a statement of his own. “Along with the entire Red Sox front office, I am excited for many years of continued partnership as we work together to bring another World Series trophy to Fenway Park.”