Red Sox

McAdam: Red Sox managerial search starts to heat up, but one potential candidate appears beyond reach

(Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

Almost a month after parting ways with manager Ron Roenicke, the Red Sox continue to evaluate candidates to serve as his replacement, with interviews already held with at least two.

Notably, however, they will not be talking to one name who had been linked to the opening: Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro.

Quatraro would seem a natural target, since he has spent most of his coaching and managerial career with the Rays, starting in 2004, filling a variety of roles from minor league catching instructor, hitting coordinator, hitting coach and manager. He's also been part of the major league coaching staff since 2018 -- first as third base coach and then as bench coach. In every year but this past one, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was with the Rays, too.

But per an agreement with the Rays, forged a year ago when Bloom left Tampa Bay to join the Red Sox, Bloom is prohibited from hiring anyone from Tampa Bay -- both front office and uniformed personnel -- for a period of two years.

(Bloom has hinted that some restrictions were put in place upon his joining the Sox, but has declined to specify them. He declined comment for this story).

It's conceivable that Bloom could go back to his former team and ask permission to interview Quatraro, citing the fact that, agreement aside, protocol within the game is to not block someone from getting a promotion elsewhere -- as going from bench coach to manager would surely qualify.

But the consensus is that the Rays insisted upon this non-compete clause for a reason. Add in the fact that the last thing the Rays want is to be seen as is some sort of small-market franchise serving as a training ground by their big market division rivals and it would seem the chances of Quatraro being given permission to talk with the Sox is slim indeed -- maybe even non-existent.