The Boston Red Sox are hiring back former manager Alex Cora, who was suspended for a year for his role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, according to multiple reports.
Cora, 45, led the Red Sox to a World Series title in his first of two prior seasons as manager. Just ahead of their last game of the 2020 season, the Red Sox announced that manager Ron Roenicke — the former bench coach under Cora — would not return next season.
The Red Sox sputtered to a 24-36 record during the pandemic-altered season, good for last place in the AL East.
Cora was let go in January 2020 following MLB’s investigation into the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme. He was found to have played a key role in the effort as Houston’s bench coach in 2017, assisting players with stealing signs through technological means — including the installation of a monitor near the home dugout.
The league also investigated the Red Sox for potential sign-stealing violations as punishment for Astros personnel was being levied, but found the violations to be much more minor. While a Red Sox video coordinator was suspended, Cora’s punishment was only for his role in the Astros’ scheme.
Cora’s re-hiring comes a week after former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who was also suspended for a year, was hired to manage the Detroit Tigers. Philadelphia Phillies information coordinator Sam Fuld was reportedly the other finalist for the Red Sox job, MLB’s last managerial vacancy.
Prior to his managerial career, Cora played in the league for 14 seasons and was a TV analyst for three. Since his last stint with the team, the Red Sox brought in Chaim Bloom from the Tampa Bay Rays to succeed Dave Dombrowski as their head of baseball operations.