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."
"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).