Red Sox News: Rays coaches are off limits for manager interviews

Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The next Red Sox manager won’t come from the Rays organization.

It was assumed that Chaim Bloom’s search for the next Boston Red Sox manager would include candidates from the Tampa Bay Rays considering his familiarity with the organization. It turns out that the reason nobody from their staff has an interview lined up isn’t because they are currently busy coaching in the World Series.

According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal, Bloom has an agreement with his former employer that prohibits him from hiring anyone from the Rays organization for a period of two years.

Rays manager Kevin Cash obviously isn’t going anywhere but members of his staff could be considered managerial candidates. Bench coach Matt Quatraro is a popular choice to be on the radar for any team looking for a new manager but the opportunity won’t be in Boston.

It’s common protocol for teams to grant permission to their coaching staff to interview with other organizations if it would lead to a promotion. With Cash firmly in place in Tampa Bay, Quatraro’s only chance to take a step up in the near future would need to come elsewhere. The Rays might allow Quatraro or any of their other coaches to interview for other open positions but it appears unlikely they would grant permission to the Red Sox if Bloom asked them to void their non-compete clause.

The last thing that the Rays want is to be viewed as a small-market club that grooms coaches or front office executives for the big market teams to poach from them. They also shouldn’t have any interest in helping a division rival.

If the Detroit Tigers come calling to ask if they can interview one of their coaches, sure, they aren’t an immediate threat. But the Red Sox? No way.

With Quatraro off the board, the Red Sox still have plenty of candidates on their radar. They have already interviewed Chicago Cubs third base coach Will Venable and Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly. According to the Boston Globe, Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell, Miami Marlins bench coach James Rowson and San Diego Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker have also received interviews.

An ESPN report adds Luis Urueta to the list. Urueta is on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff, plus he manages Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican winter league and managed Columbia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He interviewed with the Red Sox last year before the team ultimately decided to stick with Ron Roenicke by removing his interim tag. Urueta must have left an impression if the Red Sox have him on their list again.

That’s at least six candidates who have already received interviews and that’s without counting the presumed favorite, Alex Cora. Teams are prohibited from speaking to Cora until after the World Series as he wraps up his one-year suspension for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.

While there are many hoping for a reunion with Cora, he’s hardly a lock to reclaim his job as manager of the Red Sox. Boston’s ownership group has made it clear how highly they think of Cora but they’ve also shown a tendency to shy away from the type of controversy that hiring a manager tainted by a cheating scandal would bring. Cora is a proven winner who can help get this team back on track but will the Red Sox risk the potential PR firestorm?

That’s assuming Cora even wants to come back. We expect that he’d be open to returning to Boston if he plans to manage in 2021 but it’s not unreasonable to believe that he might want to do something else with his life.

Steps for a perfect offseason. dark. Next

Even if Cora is at the top of their list, the Red Sox still need to interview other candidates just in case this reunion isn’t in the cards. The front office appears to be casting a wide net in their search for candidates but they won’t be catching any Rays.