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Red Sox to interview Alex Cora for managerial opening


Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora is expected to meet with Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski on Sunday, per Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. No frontrunners have emerged for Boston’s managerial vacancy just yet, but retired MLB catcher and current special assistant Jason Varitek and Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus have also been mentioned as possible replacements for former skipper John Farrell.

Cora is still topping off his first year with the Astros’ organization. He briefly assumed control of the team when Houston manager A.J. Hinch was ejected during a 5-1 win over the Rangers in August, but has not stepped into a full-time managerial role at any point since his retirement in 2012. As with Varitek, however, the Red Sox might be drawn to the familiarity that Cora has with the organization. He played the better part of four years with the Sox from 2005 to 2008, batting a cumulative .252/.321/.350 with six home runs and a .670 OPS.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Cora will be a shoo-in for the role. The Globe’s Nick Cafardo speculates that the 41-year-old coach will be in hot demand this offseason and is likely to receive interest from the Mets, Tigers and Phillies as well, though the Mets appear focused on Ausmus and the Phillies might be set on Buck Showalter, among other candidates.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”