Red Sox

Who could replace Alex Cora as Red Sox manager in 2020?

Who could replace Alex Cora as Red Sox manager in 2020?

The Boston Red Sox will need a new manager in 2020.

Alex Cora is out after two seasons in Boston thanks to MLB investigations into sign-stealing in both Houston and Boston.

Astros owner Jim Crane fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch on Monday after Major League Baseball suspended them one year each for their role in a 2017 sign-stealing operation.

Cora is expected to receive a harsher penalty from MLB, as he played a central role in Houston's operation and also is under investigation for his involvement in a 2018 sign-stealing scandal with the Boston Red Sox.

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And while he'll find out his discipline from the league office in the coming days and/or weeks, his time in Boston is already over.

So, who could replace him? Here's a look at some of the internal candidates who could take over for Cora this season:

Ron Roenicke, Red Sox bench coach

Roenicke is second in command to Cora and is the most qualified candidate to take his place. The 63-year-old has 20 years of major league coaching experience and spent five years as the Milwaukee Brewers' manager, compiling a .508 winning percentage in that span.

Roenicke is entering just his third year as Boston's bench coach but has worked with four different MLB teams (the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels included) is the only coach on staff with MLB managerial experience.

Jason Varitek, Red Sox special assistant to the general manager

A fan favorite during his 15-year tenure in Boston, the former Red Sox catcher would be the clear "people's choice" to replace Cora. He has zero managerial experience, but that didn't stop the New York Yankees from hiring Aaron Boone.

The question would be whether Varitek wants to leave his cushy gig as a general contributor in the Red Sox' front office.

Tim Hyers, Red Sox hitting coach

Hyers is entering his third season as Boston's hitting coach and has some MLB coaching experience; he came up in the Red Sox' system as an area scout from 2009 to 2012 and worked as the Los Angeles Dodgers' assistant hitting coach from 2016 to 2017 before returning to the Red Sox in 2018.

Dave Bush, Red Sox pitching coach

The Red Sox just hired Bush as their pitching coach in October after he finished his playing career, so it's unlikely they would promote him to manager. If Boston took this route, it would promote assistant pitching coach Kevin Walker to pitching coach.

Carlos Febles, Red Sox third base coach

Febles could be a dark horse candidate, considering he's been in the Red Sox' organization since 2007. He served as manager of the Single-A Salem Red Sox and Double-A Portland Sea Dogs before becoming Boston's third base coach in 2017.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox second baseman

Pedroia has always been a leader in Boston's clubhouse. He's also played in just nine games over the past two seasons and turns 37 in August. Like Varitek, the scrappy second baseman would be a popular choice to transition from player to a manager who would have the direct pulse of his players.

MLB Rumors: Brock Holt agrees to deal with Brewers

MLB Rumors: Brock Holt agrees to deal with Brewers

Another beloved member of the Boston Red Sox will be playing for a new team in 2020.

The Milwaukee Brewers and utilityman Brock Holt agreed to a deal on Monday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.


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Holt spent seven of his eight MLB seasons (2013-19) in Boston, earning two World Series rings over that time. An All-Star in 2015, Holt hit .270 with 23 home runs and 203 RBI during his Red Sox career while playing every position other than pitcher and catcher.

But it wasn't all about what Holt contributed on the field. Above all else, it'll be the 31-year-old's clubhouse presence that will be missed. NBC Sports Boston's own John Tomase recently summarized the immense impact Holt has had on the organization and the city of Boston.

Holt joins a Brewers team that finished 89-73 in 2019 before falling to the World Series champion Washington Nationals in the National League wild-card game.

Former Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard attempting MLB comeback

Former Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard attempting MLB comeback

Daniel Bard hasn't pitched in the MLB since 2013.

But that isn't going to stop the former Boston Red Sox reliever from attempting an MLB comeback in 2020.

According to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, the 34-year-old Bard will try to return to the MLB in the near future. He last pitched in the minors during the 2017 season.

Bard was a first-round pick by the Red Sox in the 2006 MLB Draft and at one point, it appeared that he would be the heir apparent to Jonathan Papelbon as the team's closer.

In his first two seasons with the Red Sox (2009-2010), Bard was a terrific relief option for the squad. He made 122 appearances and logged a 2.61 ERA in 124 innings pitched with 139 strikeouts. And that continued for most of the 2011 season, as Bard set a Red Sox record at one point with 25 consecutive scoreless appearances.

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However, after that, Bard began to fall apart. It began in September of '11. During the final month of the season, he went 0-4 and had a ridiculous 10.64 ERA amid a Red Sox collapse that led to the departure of Terry Francona as Red Sox manager.

In 2012, Bobby Valentine attempted to convert Bard into a starting pitcher. The results were disastrous. Bard went 5-6 but had a 6.22 ERA and averaged 6.5 walks per nine innings as he struggled to command his pitches.

Following the 2012 season, Bard made just two appearances for the Red Sox in 2013. He spent most of his time with the Pawtucket Red Sox before being designated for assignment in September. After that, he bounced around the league and was seen mostly as a reclamation project. But he could never make any headway on his many minor-league stints.

Bard retired in 2017 and has been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since then.

It will be interesting to see if any team takes a chance on Bard. After all, he was able to clock 102 on the radar gun at times during his career and had he not lost his command, he may have had a chance to re-emerge as an effective reliever.

But after being away from the majors for seven years and struggling in the minors, it's fair to wonder if Bard can truly figure things out and make a team consider signing him.