Red Sox dismiss Alex Cora

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Alex Cora has been fired by the Red Sox, the club announced in a statement released on Tuesday evening. The statement, on behalf of principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and CEO Sam Kennedy, reads:

Today we met to discuss the Commissioner’s report related to the Houston Astros investigation. Given the findings and the Commissioner’s ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways.

This is a sad day for us. Alex is a special person and a beloved member of the Red Sox. We are grateful for his impact on our franchise. We all miss his passion, his energy and his significant contributions to the communities of New England and Puerto Rico.

Cora also released a statement through the club:

I want to thank John, Tom, Sam, the players, our coaching staff and the entire Red Sox organization. I especially want to thank my family for their love and support.

We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization. I do not want to be a distraction to the Red Sox as they move forward. My two years as manager were the best years of my life. It was an honor to manage these teams and help bring a World Series Championship back to Boston. I will forever be indebted to the organization and the fans who supported me as a player, a manager and in my efforts to help Puerto Rico. This is a special place. There is nothing like it in all of baseball, and I will miss it dearly.

Major League Baseball released a report based upon its investigation into allegations of sign-stealing via the use of technology when Cora was a bench coach for the Astros. Cora is essentially painted as the mastermind of the whole scheme and is currently still under investigation by the league for similar allegations as manager of the Red Sox in 2018, when the club won the World Series.

MLB suspended Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch each for one year. They were later dismissed by the club. Cora is looking at a similar, if not bigger punishment from the league. His dismissal from the Red Sox is anything but a surprise.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.