Nationals Ask Permission to Interview Alex Cora for Vacant Manager Job

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2017

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 09: Bench coach Alex Cora #26 of the Houston Astros looks on during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 9, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals are reportedly set to seek permission to interview Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora for their vacant managerial position once the team's ALCS matchup with the New York Yankees reaches its conclusion Saturday night. 

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported the Nats, who offered Cora a player development job in the past, now want to speak to him about potentially replacing Dusty Baker.

Washington may be too late to land the coveted former MLB infielder, though.

On Thursday, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reported "industry sources" expect the Boston Red Sox to hire Cora to fill the void left by John Farrell's firing. It's a move that could happen following the ALCS with a potential press conference announcing his arrival before the World Series begins Tuesday night.

"Not a doubt it is him," a source told Drellich.

That said, the Nationals' job carries plenty of intrigue if Cora hasn't made a decision yet.

The Nats went 192-132 across Baker's two years in charge and won the NL East division crown both times. They failed to advance beyond the NLDS in either season, however, which led to the veteran manager's exit despite a .593 winning percentage.

While both organizations feature playoff-level rosters, Washington has the advantage of playing in the weak NL East, which it won by 20 games this season. Meanwhile, Boston has to navigate the tougher AL East, highlighted by the rival Yankees.

Cora told Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle he took more pride in his success with the Astros than being discussed as a top managerial option.

"I'm happy that people mention my name, but at the same time I'm happy that people say that I'm a good bench coach for the Houston Astros," he said. "I think that's very important for me because that's what my goal was coming here, just try to be the best at what I do.

"For people to mention me in other conversations it's great, but I like when they talk about the Houston Astros and how good they are and how I helped some of the players or the team to win ballgames. That's the one that I really love."

His success in Houston came while working in the background as a bench coach. The pressure level will rise dramatically if he accepts an offer to become manager in Boston or Washington.