Of the many names interviewed for the Red Sox managerial vacancy, the field seems to have been narrowed to five. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link) reports that the finalists are former Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Marlins bench coach James Rowson, Pirates bench coach Don Kelly, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, and a new candidate to the race — former big league outfielder Sam Fuld, currently the Phillies’ director of integrative baseball performance.
Fuld has spent the last three years in Philadelphia’s front office, and he has often been mentioned as a future manager. Heyman’s report would suggest that Fuld has interviewed for the Boston job, which seems like an obvious step except for the fact that Fuld has declined multiple opportunities to interview for managerial positions in the past. Just last winter, for instance, Fuld passed on talking with the Pirates, Cubs, and Mets.
With baseball’s trend towards hiring younger managers who are only recently retired from their playing days, Fuld checks both boxes — he turns 39 later this month and officially retired in 2017. He doesn’t have any official coaching or managing experience, but Fuld does have something of a unique skillset in his role as a bridge between the Phils’ analytics department. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom also has a past relationship with Fuld, as Bloom was working in the Rays’ front office when Fuld played with Tampa Bay from 2011-13.
Reports from Saturday indicated that the Red Sox had interviewed both Kelly and Mendoza a second time, and of course there has been speculation over Cora’s potential return basically since the moment he was fired in January. Cora’s one-year suspension for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal was officially up after the World Series, and the Sox wasted little time in getting in touch with their former skipper.