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Is Alex Cora the heir apparent for the GM position in Boston?
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The Boston Red Sox are in a unique position. As they scramble to find a new General Manager, one name keeps popping up in the conversation, albeit in a rather complex context—Alex Cora. The current manager of the Red Sox has been a subject of speculation, not just for his role in the dugout but also for his potential aspirations off it. I believe this ongoing rumor will be a significant issue regarding the Red Sox's search for a new GM.
According to a Press Herald article, Alex Cora has had a long-standing interest in front-office roles. He has enjoyed stints as the general manager for winter ball teams in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico, as well as for Puerto Rico's World team. This experience in administrative roles suggests that Cora has the skill set and interest to step into a GM role potentially.
As Cora finishes his fifth season at the helm of the Red Sox, Mass Live suggests that he is closer to the end of his managerial role than the beginning. This statement, coupled with Cora's past interest in front-office roles, adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing GM search.
While Cora has seemingly taken his name out of the running for the position, he allegedly said, “he isn’t ready.” Sports Illustrated reports that team president Sam Kennedy and others are giving Cora significant power, even as the GM seat remains vacant. If this is true, why would anyone come in and take a job where the manager is just bossing them around? If it isn’t true, the team needs to do a better job at making sure these stories don’t get out and do some damage control now.
The future of Alex Cora has been a hot topic, especially in the wake of the Red Sox parting ways with Bloom. I wrote a blog a few weeks ago stating my distaste for even having Cora as the manager going forward. You can read that here. I can swallow him still being the manager. However, this current situation does not sit well with me.
The team has been making some significant changes without a GM. Both pitching coach Dave Bush and third-base coach Carlos Febles were fired. The assumption is that Sam Kennedy made these decisions as Alex Cora said a few weeks ago that his whole staff would be back with him.
So, who is taking the position if Cora isn’t taking the job in 2024? Listed below are some candidates that insiders have named.
1. Mike Hazen (Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager)
Mike Hazen is a familiar face to the Red Sox organization, having spent over a decade with the team before taking over the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016. Although he was technically the Red Sox's GM when he left, he wasn't the top decision-maker. Hazen has had four winning seasons in seven years with the Diamondbacks and has built a strong core team.
2. Chris Antonetti & Mike Chernoff (Cleveland Guardians)
Chris Antonetti serves as the President of Baseball Operations, and Mike Chernoff is the General Manager for the Cleveland Guardians. Both have turned down interview opportunities with other teams in the past, suggesting they are content with their current roles. However, their ability to win with fewer expenditures has caught the attention of owners. Antonetti has come out and said he will not be leaving. However, money talks.
3. Thad Levine (Minnesota Twins General Manager)
Thad Levine has been a key part of the Minnesota Twins' brain trust since 2016. Alongside President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey, Levine has guided the Twins to four playoff appearances in seven tries. He has previously declined offers from teams like the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.
4. Brandon Gomes (Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager)
Brandon Gomes, a former big-league reliever, has quickly climbed the executive ladder. Named the Dodgers' GM in January 2022, Gomes is part of what many consider to be the best front office in professional sports. His rapid ascent and current role make him an attractive candidate.
5. Michael Hill (MLB)
Michael Hill, the former Marlins GM, is another name that has come up in the Red Sox's search for a new GM. According to CBS Sports, the Red Sox are reportedly hoping to interview Hill. His experience as a GM in another MLB organization could bring a new set of eyes and strategies to the Red Sox. Hill's external perspective might be what the team needs to revamp their operations and take a fresh approach to team building and player development.
6. Eddie Romero (Boston Red Sox)
Eddie Romero has been a part of the Red Sox organization for quite some time and is considered the top internal candidate for the GM role. According to CBS Sports and MassLive, he has already been formally interviewed for the position. His long-standing association with the team could make him a safe choice, offering continuity and a deep understanding of the organization's inner workings. However, the question remains whether an internal candidate like Romero can bring the fresh perspective that the Red Sox might need at this juncture. How much power Romero would have with Cora still around remains to be seen.
7. Kim Ng (Miami Marlins)
This is a last-minute addition to this list, as reports came out today that Marlins GM, Kim Ng, declined her offer from the team. She is now free to interview where she pleases.
Again, I would like to see a clean house in terms of front office and coaching. There is very little hope for them to make a World Series run the way the team is currently constructed. However, with the young guns coming up the barrel, there is a bright future. I don’t feel that Alex Cora is the right man for the job at this time. Hopefully, I am proven wrong.
Let us know who you want to see as the new Red Sox GM!