Red Sox manager Alex Cora started his tenure in 2018 with one of the best young outfields in baseball, but after the trade of Andrew Benintendi to the Royals last week, the Killer Bs are pretty much gone.
With Mookie Betts already traded to the Dodgers and Jackie Bradley Jr. a free agent expected to sign elsewhere, Cora weighed in on Benintendi and a host of other topics during an interview with NBC10’s Raul Martinez on Sunday night. (Check out part of the interview in the video player above.)
“I’ve been in this business for a while, and I know there are some easy decisions and some tough decisions,” Cora said. “We lived it in ’18, we lived it in ’19. Hanley Ramirez, he was probably our MVP the first month of the season, and then we decided to let him go. It wasn’t easy, but we thought at that time that the organization had to take another route. Same thing with Mookie last year and same thing with Benny. I wish him well.
“The good thing about this is relationships will continue. I’m still in touch with Markus (Betts), with Jackie, with Andrew. They’re part of my life. I appreciate everything they did for me on the field and what they represent for me off the field.”
Cora touched on a number of other topics as well.
- On the expected signing of super utility player Marwin Gonzalez, whom Cora had as a player with the Astros in 2017:
“There’s a rumor in the media that Marwin’s going to sign with us. He’s a good player, a solid player, he’s very, very versatile. As of now, that’s all I can tell you.”
- On versatility in the lineup, which will included newcomers Enrique Hernandez and Franchy Cordero, among others:
“Enrique, you saw what he did with the Dodgers. He’s a guy that, little by little, he became a good player and very important part of the Dodgers the last few years.
“Franchy Cordero is a guy who can play left, center, right. Alex (Verdugo) can do the same thing. I think versatility is something that people like and good teams, they can actually maximize their roster having these types of players. We’re going to be versatile, we’re going to be athletic, and we’re going to take advantage of that.
“We’re in a good situation. If you look back from the end of the season to right now, we’re more athletic, more dynamic, deeper than we were, probably in ’19, too. We’re making strides, and we’re going to be in a good position.”
- On the pitching staff and the returns of Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale, as well as the arrival of Garrett Richards:
“We talk about position players being versatile, there’s a few guys that can help us. The organization took a big hit last year because of COVID with Eduardo, (Josh) Taylor, and Darwinzon (Hernandez). They were huge losses for the organization. Now we’ve got them back, they’re healthy and ready to roll.
“(Matt) Andriese is a guy, he’s going to help us out as far as being a swingman. Garrett Richards, very similar to when we got Nate (Eovaldi) a few years go. Stuff-wise, he’s off the charts. We’ve just go to keep him healthy and let him do his thing. Nate had a good season last year. We’re good. There’s a few things we’re doing bullpen-wise, we tried to get better.”
<h3>Full Bloom</h3> <p>The number of new players Chaim Bloom has added this offseason</p> <ul><li>On high-volume chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, who isn't afraid to turn over the roster:</li> </ul><p>"As you know with Chaim, don't go to sleep, because you might miss something."</p> <ul><li>On the controversy surrounding his return following a one-year suspension and the overwhelming support he has received from Red Sox fans:</li> </ul><p>"There's a lot of people that are happy that I'm back. I understand there are some people upset, that's the nature of this, and I don't blame them. To those people, just give me a chance. I'll be OK. I made a mistake and I paid the price.</p> <p>"For the people that embraced me or are happy I'm back, I appreciate that. I know it hasn't been easy, but I love this organization, I love what I do. I promise you, I'm going to give everything, just like I did in '18 and '19, to win ballgames and a have a great season."</p>