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After Alex Cora Fired, Odds to Be Red Sox Next Manager Favor Jason Varitek

Former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek warming up
BetOnline has established former Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek as the +325 favorite to replace Alex Cora as manager of the team. Photo by Kevin Dirksen (flickr).
  • Former Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has the best odds (+325) to replace Alex Cora as manager of the team
  • Cora was removed as skipper due to his involvement with the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal
  • Red Sox bench coach Ron Roenicke is the second-favorite at +350

Major League Baseball is still reeling from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was among the culprits, and the BoSox did not wait for Cora’s punishment to come down from the league.

Cora and the Red Sox mutually agreed to part ways, leaving Boston without a manager with less than a month until the Feb. 14th date for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training.

BetOnline was quick to offer a prop wager on who will be Cora’s replacement. The sportsbook pegged former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek as the +325 favorite to fill the skipper’s role.

Boston Red Sox Next Manager Odds

Announcer Odds at BetOnline
Jason Varitek +325
Ron Roenicke +350
Carlos Febles +600
Hensley Meulens +600
Mark Kotsay +600
Matt Quatraro +600
Dusty Baker +900
Eduardo Perez +900
Tim Bogar +1000
Craig Breslow +1200
Brad Ausmus +2000
Bruce Bochy +2500
David Ortiz +5000

Odds taken Jan. 16th.

Varitek served as Red Sox team captain from 2004-11.

Cora Downfall Was Inevitable

Once MLB unleashed its punishment against the Astros, there was a target on Cora. He was Houston’s bench coach in 2017. He’s named in the MLB report as the mastermind behind the scheme to electronically steal other teams’ signs.

A suspension seems inevitable. Regardless, Cora figured to be questioned constantly this season about his role in the skullduggery. It was going to be a significant distraction for Boston.

The Red Sox were left with no alternative but to let him go.

Varitek A Logical Favorite

As a player, Varitek was a two-time World Series champion and someone who was always pegged by baseball people as a future manager. It could be that his time to fill that destiny has arrived.

Since retiring as a player in 2012, Varitek has worked in the front office for the Red Sox. He’s currently the special assistant to Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom.

Varitek’s duties include major league personnel decisions, as well as mentoring, instructing and evaluating prospects.

In that role, he’s extremely familiar with Boston’s roster and farm system. As an ex-catcher, Varitek understands how to handle pitchers, among the biggest challenges facing a first-time manager.

Other In-House Contenders

Boston’s bench coach, Ron Roenicke, served as Cora’s right-hand man. It would be an easy transition to simply install him as the new skipper. Roenicke’s resume includes previous MLB managing experience with the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 342-331 in charge of the Brew Crew from 2011-15.

Boston’s third-base coach and infield instructor for the past two years, Carlos Febles owns over 900 games of experience as a minor-league manager. He’s worked 13 years in the Red Sox organization.

Quatraro Offers Value

If the team opts for someone outside the organization, Matt Quatraro is an intriguing value bet at +600. He’s bench coach in Tampa Bay and Bloom is familiar with Quatraro from their time together with the Rays.

Like the Red Sox, Quatraro is a big advocate of analytics.

Internal Move Makes The Most Sense

With such a short time until spring training, bringing in someone unfamiliar with Boston’s personnel would be a recipe for disaster.

As well, MLB is also investigating whether the Red Sox were stealing signs. Promoting from within could be problematic if punishment is coming.

Varitek knows the team and, if Cora’s staff is implicated in the cheating, Varitek would not be directly connected with that group.

Pick: Jason Varitek (+325)

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