Chaim Bloom

How Red Sox will approach hiring a new manager in 2020, per Chaim Bloom

How Red Sox will approach hiring a new manager in 2020, per Chaim Bloom

It's still unclear how severely Major League Baseball will punish Alex Cora after he and the Boston Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways Tuesday.

What's more clear is that the Red Sox need a new manager, and fast.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom didn't set a timetable for Boston's managerial search but said Wednesday the team wants to hire a new manager "as soon as possible."

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"There's no question it's an unusual time to be doing a managerial search," Bloom told reporters in a press conference at Fenway Park. "Being this close to spring training, it's impossible for that not to be a factor in how we proceed. But it's not going to be the only factor, and we want to make sure we do this justice.

The Red Sox can go any number of directions: Promote an assistant coach to interim manager while they look for a full-time candidate, hire an in-house candidate as their new manager or bring in new blood from outside the organization.

According to Bloom, all three options are on the table.

"We haven't ruled anything in or out," Bloom said. "I think part of this process has been assessing the best course."

When asked specifically if the Red Sox would hire an internal candidate -- bench coach Ron Roenicke, special assistant Jason Varitek and second baseman Dustin Pedroia have been floated as potential options -- Bloom suggested multiple coaches could be in the running.

"We have a lot of regard for our coaches," Bloom said. "It’s an impressive group and no reason to think that a number of them wouldn’t deserve consideration for this."

It's a tricky spot for Bloom, who will have to replace a highly successful manager just months into his job in Boston. The Red Sox seem open to hiring any type of candidate to replace Cora -- assuming that candidate meets one criterion.

"I think it's really important in order to have success in that chair for someone to be authentic and be themselves," Bloom said. "I think that's a challenge whenever you're following someone who's had success. You want to make sure you're aware of some of the things that made them successful. But you need to be you. You can't copy someone else. That's not going to work.

" ... We have to make sure our next manager is authentic and is going to do what is going to make that person most successful."

Bloom and the Red Sox also have to make sure they find that "authentic" candidate soon: Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than a month (Feb. 11).

Red Sox press conference live stream: Watch reaction to Alex Cora's departure

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Red Sox press conference live stream: Watch reaction to Alex Cora's departure

Alex Cora is out as the Boston Red Sox' manager. So, what's next?

That's the question Boston's ownership and front office will address Wednesday after the team agreed to part ways with Cora following his implication in the Houston Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, president/CEO Sam Kennedy and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom all are expected to speak at a 1 p.m. ET press conference from Fenway Park, where they will explain Cora's departure and discuss their plans moving forward.

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You can watch the Red Sox' press conference live on NBC Sports Boston at 1 p.m. ET, or stream it on all mobile platforms via NBCSportsBoston.com.

Here's how and when to watch Wednesday's press conference:

When: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 1 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Boston
Live Stream: NBC Sports Boston

What happened to creativity? Red Sox remain in hibernation as offseason trudges on

What happened to creativity? Red Sox remain in hibernation as offseason trudges on

Red Sox ownership evaluated last year's 84-win disappointment and didn't even wait until the season finale to hand president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski his walking papers.

The changes expected of a bloated payroll required the kind of creativity ill-suited to a 60-something who still kept notes on index cards and preferred consummating trades the old-fashioned way, via actual talking.

Thanks for the World Series, but time for someone new.

In Dombrowski's place, the club hired Chaim Bloom, a 30-something Yale graduate who had demonstrated an ability to think imaginatively in Tampa while helping turn one of the game's smallest payrolls into one of its toughest outs.

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We spent the leadup to free agency wondering how the Red Sox would wow us. It felt like virtually everyone and everything was on the table.

They could trade their entire starting outfield, including former MVP Mookie Betts. They could move left-hander David Price. Maybe they'd even go nuclear and entertain offers for franchise shortstop Xander Bogaerts in an acknowledgement that what comes next might be more of a teardown than a reload.

When they hibernated at the start of free agency, we reasoned it away by saying that they were waiting out the market. The only teams that could afford to acquire players like Betts or Price would first target high-profile free agents.

Only when they'd missed out on, say, Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole, would they coming crawling to the Red Sox, ready to deal.

When the high end of the market cleared out and still the Red Sox did nothing, we squinted a little, but figured they'd pull the trigger any day.

Blockbusters take time, especially when they involve the kind of money — $96 million remaining on Price's deal, the roughly $30 million due Betts — that only the richest teams can afford.

Then came arbitration agreements with Betts ($27 million) and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., two trade candidates, and an eye-opening interview with owner John Henry, who expressed indignance to Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy that the media had overblown ownership's desire to drop below the $208 million luxury-tax threshold, even though Henry had had revealed in September in direct terms that not only did the team need to shed significant payroll, "that's something we've known for more than year now."

Henry now insists that the front office's mandate isn't to cut payroll, but to remain competitive for the next five years.

While there's still time to swing a mega-deal, every day that passes brings us closer to the arrival of pitchers and catchers on Feb. 12 and the finalization of opposing payrolls and rosters, at least from a big-ticket perspective.

The Red Sox could soon find themselves without a willing trade partner, which means they'll be inhabiting the worst of both worlds, failing to cut payroll in what feels like a necessary long-term recalibration, but also sitting out an entire offseason, save for a stray Martin Perez or Kevin Plawecki, leaving last year's flaws in place.

What started as an offseason promising seismic changes could instead end with the club returning intact in the hopes that it rebounds.

And for this they needed to overhaul baseball operations? So they could do . . . nothing? Are we supposed to feel good about maintaining the status quo?

The whole idea of change at the top was to avoid a repeat of 2019, but the way things stand now, the Red Sox appear comfortable rolling out virtually the exact same team and hoping for different results.

It's hard to imagine anyone considered that outcome either a goal or a mandate.