Boston Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 26: Manager Alex Cora #20 of the Boston Red Sox gives an on-field interview during the third inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 26, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. All players across MLB will wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The Boston Red Sox have cut their list of candidates for their vacant managerial gig down to five ‘likely’ finalists, according to Jon Heyman, and confirmed by WBZ TV’s Dan Roche.

That group of five according to their sources includes Alex Cora, Sam Fuld, Don Kelly, Carlos Mendoza, and James Rowson.

Cora, who parted ways with the Red Sox earlier this year and served his suspension for his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, is viewed as the obvious favorite of the job. There’s an obvious relationship between the sides, and Cora’s exit was done with the intention of neither side vilifying the other. The Sox have reportedly been in contact with Cora multiple times this week, too, according to the latest report from The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

The 45-year-old Cora was Boston’s manager for two seasons, during which the team went 192-132 overall and won the 2018 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fuld, meanwhile, is in the mix for the Sox after spending the last three years as a player information coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies. A New Hampshire native, Fuld has been linked to countless managerial jobs since taking that job with Philly, and Chaim Bloom is certainly familiar with Fuld, as he played for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2010 through 2013.

PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 28: Sam Fuld #23 of the Oakland Athletics looks on from the dugout during the fourth inning of a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 28, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Kelly also remains in the hunt after reportedly interviewing with the team last week.

The 40-year-old Kelly, who had a nine-year MLB career between three different teams, served as Houston’s first base coach in 2019, and was the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates this past season.

Bringing Mendoza to Boston would see the Red Sox pluck a staffer from the Yankees, as Mendoza has spent the last 12 seasons in the Yankee organization. Mendoza’s career started out in New York’s minor-league coaching ranks, and eventually rose to various jobs at the big league level before spending this past season as the Bombers’ bench coach.

Both Kelly and Mendoza earned second interviews with the Red Sox.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 02: Acting manager Carlos Mendoza #64 of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout prior to the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 02, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Rowson, currently the bench coach and offensive coordinator for the Miami Marlins, is also still in the running.

The 44-year-old Rowson has bounced around a few different big league organizations (mainly as a hitting coach with the Twins for three seasons), but jumped to the Marlins after the 2019 season as the team’s bench coach.

The Red Sox are currently the only MLB team without a manager.

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