BOSTON (CBS) — And then there were two. The Red Sox have “likely” trimmed their managerial search to two candidates, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, who says the race is down to Alex Cora and Sam Fuld.

Heyman says the decision is up to Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, who has a strong tie to the 38-year-old Fuld from their days together with the Tampa Bay Rays. Fuld played for the Rays from 2011-13, part of his eight-year MLB career as a fearless outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins.

While the Red Sox are plenty familiar with Cora, who managed the team to a World Series title in 2018, Bloom may want to bring in his own guy. That would give Fuld the edge over the former Boston skipper.

Fuld knows quite a bit about the Red Sox, too. The Durham, New Hampshire native is a lifelong Sox fan, and the 38-year-old would fit right in with Bloom’s analytic approach. In addition to his experience as a professional player, he’d bring an economics degree from Stanford to any analytics department he joins. Since retiring in 2017, he has served as the player information coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fuld turned down interview opportunities with the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs last offseason, but he probably isn’t going to pass up the chance to manage the team he grew up cheering for. If Fuld is the guy that Bloom wants managing the Red Sox, then not even Cora’s past success with the team will help him get the job back.

Rumors of a Cora reunion fired up again last week when it was reported that the Red Sox had been chatting with Cora since the end of the World Series, when his one-year MLB ban expired. But the longer Boston’s managerial search continues, the more likely it is that Cora will not be the man that Bloom chooses in the end.

If that’s the case, it seems as though Fuld will be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox.

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