Former major league manager Dusty Baker has a career .532 winning percentage and his 1,863 career wins rank 15th all-time. AP

Now that Alex Cora is gone, it’s time to start thinking about who will replace him as the Boston Red Sox manager.

It’s a tricky situation, given pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than four weeks and every team has finalized its coaching staff for the 2020 season.

Typically in baseball there’s an unwritten rule that teams allow their coaches and executives to interview for other team’s jobs only if it’s a promotion. In this case, that would give the Red Sox free reign to steal another team’s bench coach, and there are a handful of them who are considered strong managerial candidates.

Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro makes a lot of sense for the Sox, given his ties to new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom from their time together in Tampa Bay.

Mets bench coach Hensley Meulens has been a strong managerial candidate, speaks five languages and, like Xander Bogaerts, hails from the Dutch Caribbean.

But given we’re so close to spring training, and given the Astros and the Red Sox are looking for a new manager because of their own wrongdoing, it would be well within another team’s rights to deny any request to interview one of their coaches, even for a promotion.

The easiest move for the Red Sox would be to promote bench coach Ron Roenicke, who led the Brewers to a 342-331 record from 2011 until he was fired in 2015.

The Astros reportedly will do just that, temporarily promoting bench coach Joe Espada to fill Hinch’s role as interim manager.

They may be longshots but are worth mentioning: Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek are both considered potential big league managers, though Varitek has been content with his behind-the-scenes role with the Red Sox and Pedroia intends to keep playing in 2020.

If the Red Sox are interested in going outside the organization, and assuming they aren’t given permission to hire another team’s bench coach this late in the offseason, here’s a list of five potential candidates:


The Connecticut native was one of three people interviewed after the Red Sox fired John Farrell before the 2018 season. He’s had two runs as manager, and while neither of them were particularly successful (314-332 with the Tigers and 72-90 with the Angels), he’s a well-respected voice who continues to be a candidate for jobs around the game.


Baker was last seen winning 95-plus games a year for the Nationals in 2016 and 2017 before he was fired. Previously, he had won 90-plus games a year for the Reds before he was fired in 2013. He has a career .532 winning percentage and his 1,863 career wins rank 15th all-time. The 70-year-old Baker is one of the most successful and experienced candidates around.


A future Hall of Famer considered one of the best managers of all-time, Bochy said he was retiring after stepping down as Giants manager following the 2019 season. But the 64-year-old is a three-time World Series champion and admitted to the USA Today he wasn’t sure if retiring was the right decision. Could the Red Sox lure him back into the game?


His 13-year big league career ended in 2006, but Perez has quickly become an interesting candidate after his time on ESPN, similar to Cora. Perez was the Astros’ bench coach under Bo Porter in 2013 but resigned in 2014 to spend more time with family. The former Puerto Rican Winter League manager of the year was interviewed twice by the Mets before they hired Carlos Beltran this winter.


His 19-year career ended as a 42-year-old with the 2014 Royals, who came one win away from a World Series title, eventually losing to Bochy’s Giants. He’s reportedly been a highly regarded managerial candidate but would also need convincing, since he told the Los Angeles Times in October he wanted to manage one day, but “it’s not the right time for me.”

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