The Red Sox have offered their managerial job to Astros bench coach Alex Cora, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag. It’s a three-year proposal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (on Twitter), and the belief is that he’ll accept it when Houston’s season concludes, Heyman reports. The Astros’ year will end Saturday with a loss to the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS. Should the Astros advance to the World Series, the Red Sox will have to wait another week-plus to officially tab Cora.
It’s no surprise that the Red Sox are set to hire the 42-year-old Cora, who has been the favorite to take over for previous skipper John Farrell since his firing on Oct. 11. Newly named Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire and Detroit predecessor Brad Ausmus also drew consideration for the job.
Unlike Gardenhire and Ausmus, Cora doesn’t bring any major league managerial experience to the table, and this will go down as his only year on A.J. Hinch’s coaching staff in Houston. Nevertheless, it seemed inevitable he’d get an opportunity somewhere this offseason. The Tigers showed interest in Cora before going with Gardenhire, while other teams with openings – the Phillies, Mets and Nationals – have also eyed him. The Nats, who parted with Dusty Baker on Friday, are the newest club seeking an interview with Cora, but it doesn’t appear they’ll get the opportunity to speak with him.
From a talent standpoint, Cora will enter an enviable situation in Boston, which won its second straight AL East title in 2017 before falling to Cora’s Astros in a four-game American League Division Series. The Red Sox’s array of quality players, not to mention their big-spending ways, should help Cora’s cause, though he’ll also enter a pressure-packed position that comes with high expectations from fans and media alike. Farrell can attest to that, given that wasn’t particularly popular during his five-year Boston tenure despite being in the dugout for three seasons of at least 93 wins – all of which ended with division championships – and a World Series title in 2013.
Cora will be the first managerial hire in Boston for Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who inherited Farrell when he took over the franchise’s front office in 2015. In the Puerto Rican-born Cora, he’ll get a bilingual manager who’s known to value analytics. Cora’s also already familiar with the Boston organization, having been an infielder with the Red Sox from 2005-08 during a major league playing career that spanned from 1998-2011.