The SoftBank Hawks had interest in A-Rod this past winter

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In a development whose significance will be mostly felt by columnists looking for new angles with which to mock and marginalize Alex Rodriguez, we learn this from the New York Times:

Last November, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks reached out to the Yankees through an intermediary and expressed interest in obtaining Rodriguez, according to two baseball officials who were told of the informal inquiry. The Yankees never engaged the Hawks in discussions because they knew it could not work for two obvious reasons.

Obvious reasons: A-Rod has no-trade protection and the Hawks didn’t realize that A-Rod was slated for hip surgery that was going to keep him out months.

Too bad. It would be a lot of fun to see all of the people who say they wished A-Rod would just go away constantly talking about what A-Rod was doing in Japan.

Report: Red Sox expected to hire Alex Cora after World Series

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox have offered a contract to Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, though the deal won’t be officially announced until the conclusion of the World Series later this month. Cora has long been a favorite for the Sox’ managerial vacancy, and despite reports that he was being pursued by the Tigers, Mets, Phillies and Nationals, he’s expected to land in Boston after all. The team has yet to verify the report.

The deal is for three years, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Cora is coming off of a one-year gig with the Astros and has no prior managerial experience. More importantly, however, he stands out for his familiarity with the Red Sox’ organization, strong connection with players and analytics-driven approach.

The Red Sox are the second team to replace their manager this offseason after the Tigers snatched up Ron Gardenhire on Friday. The Mets, Phillies and Nationals are still hunting for replacements.