Boston Red Sox

Mar 8, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox guest instructor Jason Varitek (33) prior to the game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth,

For the first time since the team parted ways with Alex Cora on January 14, reports are coming out about the Red Sox plans to replace him.

Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Red Sox have discussed the opening with current bench coach Ron Roenicke and third base coach Carlos Febles. Meanwhile, it looks like former catcher Jason Varitek is not interested, at least for now.

Roenicke has been with the Red Sox since 2018, when he was named the bench coach by then-rookie manager Alex Cora. There are concerns that he could be receiving a punishment from MLB in the coming weeks in relation to the league’s investigation of the team’s use of video equipment during the 2018 season. He does have previous major league managerial experience, posting a 342-331 record with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 to 2015. Between that job and the Red Sox, he spent two years as the third base coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Febles has been in the Red Sox organization since 2007, breaking in as the hitting coach for the Class-A Lowell Spinners. The six-year major leaguer served as the manager for a number of Red Sox affiliates, including the Spinners in 2011, the Greenville Drive starting in 2012, the Salem Red Sox starting in 2014, and the Portland Sea Dogs beginning in 2016. He was hired as the big league team’s third base coach in 2018.

Varitek played 15 seasons with the Red Sox, and was the last official captain of the team. He currently works for the team as a special assistant. Varitek was known for his ability to work well with a pitching staff as a catcher, as well as being a strong voice in the locker room.

While Heyman’s update includes only internal candidates, MassLive’s Chris Cotillo highlighted former Red Sox outfielder Mark Kotsay as a possible option if the team decides to hire externally.

A career journeyman, Kotsay played for seven teams during his 17-year MLB career. After being traded to Boston before the 2008 waiver deadline, Kotsay played 49 games with the Red Sox between 2008 and 2009. Follwing his retirement, Kotsay got involved in coaching. After starting out as the Padres hitting coach in 2014, he was named the Oakland A’s bench coach in 2015, then was moved to his current job of quality control coach before the 2017 season. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, Kotsay expressed interest in moving to a managerial job at the end of the 2019 season. Kotsay reportedly drew interest from teams as a managerial candidate earlier this winter.

While the Red Sox remain in a holding pattern regarding internal candidates due to pending penalties from MLB regarding the team’s use of recording devices, these are the first signs the Sox are moving on the issue since parting ways with Cora 15 days ago. As those potential punishments remain a key factor, it is refreshing to see the team making headway on filling the position.