The Boston Red Sox need a new manager, and the most intriguing name for that position is Alex Cora.
Cora managed the Red Sox for two seasons and led them to a World Series title in 2018 before mutually parting ways with the organization in January after Major League Baseball detailed his role in the Houston Astros' recent sign-stealing operation and suspended him for one season.
With Cora's suspension over, he's now free to join any team, which begs the question: Could a return to the Red Sox be in the cards?
Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reported Friday that the two sides have communicated over the last week.
"According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have been in contact with former manager Alex Cora multiple times since Tuesday, when his season-long suspension – the result of an MLB investigation into sign-stealing by the 2017 Astros – ended with the conclusion of the World Series," Speier wrote.
"It is unknown how Cora’s candidacy is viewed by the Red Sox. He remains extremely popular with many members of the organization at the ownership, front office, and player levels."
The Red Sox named Ron Roenicke the manager in April. The team finished at the bottom of the American League East with a 24-36 record in the 60-game shortened 2020 campaign.
Roenicke was hardly to blame for Boston's struggles -- the roster was bad and the front office traded superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February -- but he and the team parted ways after the regular season ended.
Bringing back Cora as the manager makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox. His ability to develop young players would be a huge benefit to this team as it attempts to build a contending roster again.