The Red Sox will not be bringing back bench coach Jerry Narron or bullpen coach Craig Bjornson for the 2021 season, the club announced Monday morning.
Narron, 64, was named the Sox’ bench coach under Ron Roenicke back in February, which was the same role he served under Grady Little during the 2003 season.
Bjornson, meanwhile, had served as Boston’s bullpen coach for the past three seasons. The 51-year-old initially came over from the Astros shortly after Alex Cora was hired in November 2017.
In the same announcement, Boston also invited eight members of this year’s coaching staff back for the 2021 campaign.
Those coaches include hitting coach Tim Hyers, assistant hitting coach Peter Fatse, pitching coach Dave Bush, assistant pitching coach Kevin Walker, first base coach Tom Goodwin, third base coach Carlos Febles, coach Ramon Vazquez, and special assistant/catching coach Jason Varitek.
Outside of Fatse, all other Red Sox coaches who could return next season have been with the organization in some capacity for more than one year.
With that in mind, on top of the fact that there have been next to no rumors pertaining to the club’s ongoing managerial search, it would appear that old friend Alex Cora is a favorite to return to his old post and retain his title as the Sox’ 47th manager in franchise history.
The soon-to-be 45-year-old led the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2018 and was subsequently handed down a one-year ban from Major League Baseball this past April for the role he played in the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
That suspension for Cora runs through the end of this year’s World Series, so he will not be able to formally talk with any clubs about their managerial openings until the end of October.
Whether it be Cora or someone else, whoever Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom brings in as his club’s next manager will have more coaching staff decisions to make. The current openings at bullpen coach and bench coach are one thing, but more vacancies could be created if one of the names listed above leaves Boston for another organization this winter.