10:15 pm: The Red Sox have considered Mets’ bench coach Hensley Meulens for the position, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). It’s unclear if the sides have yet arranged for a formal interview. As Heyman points out, Meulens might find himself in consideration for the top job in New York as well.
8:45 pm: The Red Sox are one of three teams surprisingly on the hunt for a manager in January. Unlike the Astros and Mets, to whom some early names have been tied, Boston’s search for a skipper has been quiet the past few days.
It seems Boston may not name a replacement for Alex Cora any time soon. Speaking to reporters (including Chris Cotillo of MassLive), Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy allowed that Boston could enter spring training without a manger in place. The Sox “would like” to have the position settled by then, Kennedy said, but it’s not a mandate. Indeed, as of Friday, the Red Sox had yet to reach out to other clubs to seek permission to interview external candidates (via Cotillo). Boston is vetting its internal candidates first, Kennedy explained (Twitter link), but the club plans to cast a wide net in its search.
If the Red Sox were to hire from within, bench coach Ron Roenicke seems a logical option. The former Brewers’ skipper has been Cora’s bench coach the past two seasons. He’s no doubt familiar with much of Boston’s current roster. (The 2018 Red Sox are themselves under investigation related to sign stealing allegations, of course, but there’s no reason to believe at this point that Roenicke will be implicated). Red Sox coaches, in fact, seem to believe Roenicke would be the frontrunner if Boston stays internal, notes Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
Former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell would have interest in the position, he tells Rob Bradford of WEEI, but only under a unique circumstance. Lowell’s interest would be conditional on his serving as a bridge to a Cora return in 2021. “I would love to (manage) if I knew it was just for a year and Cora was guaranteed to come back,” Lowell told Bradford. Of course, such a scenario seems far-fetched at the moment. Cora hasn’t yet been disciplined by Major League Baseball for his role in the respective sign stealing scandals, but a suspension is almost certainly forthcoming. Further, there’s no indication the organization would have interest in exploring such an arrangement.
The situation is no doubt a difficult and unexpected one for first-year chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. The next steps for the Red Sox (and the Astros and Mets, as well) will be fascinating to follow. It seems Bloom and the rest of Boston’s front office are prepared to take their time sorting things out.