gettyimages-12159820791.jpg
Getty Images

On Friday, the Tigers named former Astros skipper AJ Hinch their new manager, just days after Hinch's suspension stemming from Houston's sign-stealing scandal ended. Hinch was banned one year for the scandal. His suspended ended following the conclusion of the World Series on Tuesday.

Alex Cora, Hinch's bench coach with the Astros and former manager of the Red Sox, served the same one-year suspension as Hinch, and his ban ended following the World Series as well. In the days since, the Red Sox have spoken to Cora multiple times about their managerial opening, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.

Here are more details from Speier:

It is unknown how Cora's candidacy is viewed by the Red Sox. He remains extremely popular with many members of the organization at the ownership, front office, and player levels.

But those relationships are based largely on Cora's two seasons at the helm of the Red Sox, before the arrival of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom after the 2019 season. Bloom, who has been charged with leading the Red Sox managerial search, was noncommittal at the end of the 2020 season about how he viewed Cora as a potential replacement for 2020 manager Ron Roenicke.

The Red Sox parted ways with Roenicke following the regular season and Bloom has declined to comment on Cora since joining the club last offseason. "(There) will be a time where I can get into more detail on Alex and his situation and my thoughts on it, but that time isn't now, so I'm hoping everybody will respect that," Bloom said after the team's season ended.

Speier reports the Red Sox have already identified at least seven managerial candidates: Twins bench coach Mike Bell, Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, Marlins bench coach James Rowson, Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker, Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta, and Cubs third base coach Will Venable.

Mendoza and Kelly have received second interviews with the Red Sox, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, and Speier says some candidates have been told they are no longer in the running. Cora could interview with the team in the coming days, reports Heyman. In MLB's eyes, Cora has served his punishment and is in good standing with the league.

Cora, 45, was identified as a ringleader in Houston's and Boston's sign-stealing schemes during MLB's investigations. The Red Sox are the only team with a managerial opening now that the Tigers have hired Hinch and the White Sox have hired Tony La Russa.