Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora holds the World Series trophy during the 2018 World Series victory parade on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

It’s officially official: after a season away as part of a suspension for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Alex Cora is back with the Boston Red Sox as the team’s manager.

Red Sox front office head Chaim Bloom confirmed the move in a statement released Friday night.

“Alex Cora is an outstanding manager, and the right person to lead our club into 2021 and beyond,” Bloom said in a statement. “The way he leads, inspires, and connects with everyone around him is almost unmatched, and he has incredible baseball acumen and feel for the game. We considered a very impressive slate of candidates – the brightest managerial prospects in the game today. Because of all that had happened, I knew that I wanted to speak with Alex once his suspension ended, but I didn’t yet know if it made sense to consider him for the job as well. Our conversations were lengthy, intense, and emotional. Alex knows that what he did was wrong, and he regrets it. My belief is that every candidate should be considered in full: strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and failures. That is what I did with Alex in making this choice.

“He loves the Red Sox and the game of baseball, and because of that we believe he will make good on this second chance. I join our whole organization in welcoming Alex back to Boston and Fenway Park.”

The organization’s manager in 2018 and 2019, Cora compiled a 192-132 record during his two-year run as Sox skipper, winning the 2018 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Boston’s 108 wins during the 2018 season were the most in the majors, as well as the second-most for an individual in his first season as a big league manager (Ralph Houk’s 109 wins in 1961 are the most). The Red Sox then went 11-3 in the 2018 postseason, and Cora became only the fifth manager to win a World Series in a first season as a major league manager.

Mar 30, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) congratulates catcher Christian Vazquez (7) as they beat the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“We are excited to have Alex’s leadership and energy back in the Red Sox dugout,” Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said. “Our ownership group and leadership team appreciate the thorough search conducted by Chaim and the entire Baseball Operations department that led to this decision.

“Alex brings to this position a record of success at the highest level, an embrace of the intensity of the Boston market, a connection with our core group of players, and an appreciation for the culture and individuals within our organization.”

Cora’s new deal with Boston is a two-year contract that clubs with a club option for the following two seasons.