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Boston Red Sox announce manager Ron Roenicke won’t return

Matt Johnson
Boston Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are moving on from manager Ron Roenicke, parting ways with their interim skipper after just one season at the helm.

Roenicke, who the Red Sox promoted to manager before the season, oversaw a club that entered Sunday with the third-worst record in MLB (23-36). Boston will begin an immediate search to find its next manager.

Boston Red Sox part ways with manager Ron Roenicke

Coming into the year, the Red Sox were hoping to contend with Alex Cora at the helm. However, he was later fired for his role in the infamous Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. Following his termination, the Red Sox conducted a brief managerial search before ultimately giving Roenicke the job.

Unfortunately for the veteran skipper, the Red Sox lost several key players to injuries and trades. After dealing Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez missed the season due to COVID-19 complications.

The Red Sox were never in contention, even in a season when MLB expanded its postseason field to 16 teams. With the organization going in a new direction, Roenicke’s days were numbered.

Top candidates to become Red Sox manager

With the managerial search beginning immediately, Boston will have a slight edge over other teams who still haven’t fired their managers. Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom will certainly consider candidates already inside the organization, but might prefer to bring in his own hire.

  • Alex Cora: While the idea of bringing Cora back might sound absurd, it can’t be thrown out entirely. The organization and clubhouse adored Cora and he likely would have been the team’s manager for years to come if not for the Astros’ scandal. He has served his season-long suspension and MLB’s investigation into the Red Sox’s scandal yielded no additional punishment. There would be a PR backlash, but it may be worth it.
  • Matt Quatraro: If we follow Bloom’s connection to the Rays, Quatraro might be the favorite to become Boston’s next manager. He joined Tampa Bay in 2018, starting as a third base coach and then being promoted to bench coach. He’s been interviewed by multiple teams for managerial openings in the past and it’s only a matter of time before he lands a gig.
  • Joe Espada: Espada has been one of the most popular candidates in searches the past two years, finishing as a finalist with the San Francisco Giants and Astros. The 45-year-old has been Houston’s bench coach since 2017, with prior experience as an infield coach with the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees. He also served as an assistant to New York’s general manager Brian Cashman, demonstrating an ability to work closely with a team’s top baseball executive.
  • Jason Varitek: There’s a strong correlation between former catchers becoming managers and it’s hard to argue with Varitek’s resume as a player. He is adored by the fan base and organization, which would be beneficial at a time when the club is in a major transition. Varitek joined Boston’s front office in 2012 and now serves as a special assistant to Bloom.