The Boston Red Sox reportedly know who their next manager will be but do not plan on making a formal announcement until after Major League Baseball finishes its investigation of the team's alleged sign stealing.
According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, the American League East squad is "planning to name bench coach Ron Roenicke as manager."
The Red Sox said in a statement Friday: "Our managerial search is not yet completed. We will comment at the completion of the search."
The manager position was vacant after the Red Sox announced they parted ways with Alex Cora on Jan. 14 following the league's investigation into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Cora was Houston's bench coach during its championship run in 2017, and ESPN's Jeff Passan reported his punishment was "coming" and "going to be harsh."
MLB fined the Astros $5 million, docked them their first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, and suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch—who were ultimately fired—for one year.
The severity of those punishments looms over the Red Sox as Roenicke ascends to the manager role because they are also under investigation for sign stealing.
"I'm hopeful that I can get Boston done before the camps open," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Thursday. "I'd like to have this over. Investigations are funny. You think you know what the timeline is, but that's a day-to-day prediction."
That is not the only challenge Roenicke will face.
It appeared the team traded star outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a three-team deal Tuesday. However, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported "it's not a certainty" the trade goes through given concerns about the medical review of pitcher Brusdar Graterol, who is supposed to go from the Minnesota Twins to Boston in the deal.
Boston is coming off a third-place finish in the AL East, will likely be without Betts when it does figure out a way to complete the trade and has potential punishments looming over it.
Roenicke is the one tasked with navigating that challenging course, and he at least has managerial experience. He led the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 until he was fired in May 2015, finishing with a 342-331 record and a winning mark in three of his full four seasons.