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Report: Former Astros Manager AJ Hinch a 'Strong Candidate' for White Sox Job

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2020

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch speaks during a news conference for baseball's World Series Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Houston. The Houston Astros face the Washington Nationals in Game 1 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch is reportedly considered a "strong candidate" to become the next manager of the Chicago White Sox, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Hinch and former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora are considered "obvious candidates," per Buster Olney of ESPN.

Rick Renteria had served as the White Sox manager for the past four seasons, leading the team to the playoffs in 2020, but the organization announced Monday that the two sides will part ways.

Hinch could be a top managerial candidate for any opening this offseason after serving his yearlong suspension for his role in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. He was fired by Houston shortly after his discipline was announced.

The 46-year-old has had plenty of on-field success, winning the World Series in 2017 and another American League pennant in 2019. In five years with the Astros, Hinch accumulated a 481-329 regular-season record with three 100-win seasons.

The MLB findings determined the manager "neither devised the banging scheme nor participated in it," although he was held accountable for having full knowledge of the team's conduct.

Cora, who was Houston's bench coach in '17, was reportedly responsible for developing the scheme. The Red Sox fired him as manager in January after he spent two seasons in the role.

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The 44-year-old Cora had plenty of success prior to the scandal, winning the World Series with Boston in 2018 after going 108-54 in the regular season.

The White Sox job could be the top opening in baseball this offseason considering the team's young core:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

White Sox managing job looks like a great one at this time. Seem poised for a sustained run.

Robert Murray @ByRobertMurray

The White Sox have a young roster built to be competitive for the long haul and ownership has recently shown a willingness to spend to supplement that young core. Would expect their managerial opening to draw a lot of interest, especially from the top candidates.

Jose Abreu is a top contender for the 2020 AL MVP award, while stars like Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, Nick Madrigal and others should continue to improve.

Based on the early candidates, it appears Chicago is seeking a proven manager who can help take this squad take the next step after the White Sox were eliminated by the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Series this postseason.

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