The Boston Red Sox said Tuesday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with manager Alex Cora, one day after Major League Baseball detailed his key role in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal during his stint with the team in 2017.
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“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," the Red Sox said in a joint statement attributed to Cora, principal team owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Sam Kennedy.
Cora’s exit came after MLB officials concluded the Astros players and coaches developed a system to steal signs from opponents during the 2017 World Series run. The scheme used a video system to transmit the signs for review, and Astros players would use a trash can to signal the signs to each other.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred singled out Cora, who served as bench coach for the Astros that season, over his role in the scheme, noting that he was “participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players' conduct."
"We agreed today that parting ways was the best thing for the organization," Cora said in a statement. "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."
It’s unclear what Cora’s dismissal will mean for the outstanding salary on his contract. He earned $800,000 in 2018 and was under contract through the 2021 season.
MLB is still investigating Cora’s involvement in a separate sign-stealing scheme the Red Sox allegedly implemented during the 2018 season. Cora became Red Sox manager prior to that season and led the team to a World Series win.
The league has yet to announce disciplinary action against Cora. However, the eventual penalty is expected to be severe, ESPN reported.
MLB issued one-year suspensions to former Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, fined the franchise $5 million and stripped the team of draft picks in 2020 and 2021. The Astros fired Hinch and Luhnow within hours of the MLB’s announcement.