BOSTON (CBS) — Alex Cora reportedly remains the favorite to get his old managerial job back in Boston, but the Red Sox have reportedly interviewed a pair of other candidates. Boston interviewed Chicago Cubs third base coach Will Venable and Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly for the job this week, according to The Boston Globe.
Venable, 37, moved across the diamond for the Cubs in 2020 after serving as the team’s first base coach in both 2018 and 2019. He starting his duties with the Cubs in 2017 in the front office, serving as a special assistant to team president Theo Epstein.
Venable enjoyed a nine-year MLB career as an outfielder for the Padres, Rangers and Dodgers from 2008-2016. He played both baseball and basketball during his collegiate career at Princeton.
Kelly, 40, also had a nine-year career in MLB, and played all nine positions during his playing days with the Pirates, Tigers and Marlins from 2007-2016. He got his start in coaching as the first base coach of the Houston Astros in 2019 before joining the Pirates in 2020.
Update: You can add Luis Urueta to the list as well, as Boston has interviewed the Diamondbacks coach for the second time in the last 10 months, according to ESPB’s Enrique Rojas.
According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Red Sox may also be interested in Dodgers first base coach George Lombard for their managerial vacancy. He has served as L.A.’s first base coach since 2016.
Most of the speculation regarding Boston’s managerial job has centered around a return for Cora, who according to Heyman, continues to be viewed as the favorite to get his old job back. Cora parted ways with the Red Sox after he was suspended for the 2020 season for his role in the 2017 Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, and cannot talk with Boston about the opening until after the conclusion of the World Series. Heyman notes that Cora has the backing of Boston’s owners, players and fans.
But if Chaim Bloom wants to bring in his own skipper for the Red Sox, the team has already started to interview some fresh faces for the gig.