Alex Cora to return as Red Sox manager in 2020, team CEO confirms

Sporting News

Alex Cora will be back as Red Sox manager in 2020, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy confirmed Tuesday, only days after Boston fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski less than a year after a World Series title.

The Red Sox are 76-69 entering Wednesday's game, nine games out of the second AL wild card with 17 to play, a disappointing follow-up to 2018's 108-win team that beat the Dodgers in five games to capture its fourth title in 15 years.

“No doubt, it has been a difficult season for all of us,” Kennedy said Tuesday on WEEI. “But we’re really confident in Alex Cora.”

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Cora will get a new boss this winter when the Red Sox hire a replacement for Dombrowski, who hired Cora in November 2017.

“(Owners) John Henry, Tom Werner and I spent a lot of time (Monday) with Alex and spent some time with the players and expressed our confidence and support for Alex and the incredible job he has done,” Kennedy said. "He has been everything you would want in a manager, and I can’t speak more highly of Alex and the job that he’s done. And the job I know he’ll do as we move forward."

Though Cora wasn't considered to be on the hot seat so soon after the 2018 title, the team's on-field performance combined with a total payroll that approaches $229 million and Dombrowski's exit left open the question of further change.

Tuesday's vote of confidence has been interpreted by some to indicate that one of the executives combining to replace Dombrowski on an interim basis — assistant GMs Eddie Romero, Zack Scott and Brian O’Halloran and senior VP of major and minor league operations Raquel Ferreira — has an inside track for the permanent job.

The reason: A strong outside candidate, which presumably is how the Red Sox would set their sights, might not consider the job if it comes with a holdover manager. None of the four in the interim role would appear to have a problem with Cora.

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