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Red Sox meet with Ausmus for manager role

Ex-Tigers manager was let go at end of season; Cora still touted as top target
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski interviewed his second managerial candidate in two days, but he didn't need a meet-and-greet for this one.

According to a baseball source, Monday's interview was with Brad Ausmus, who was let go by the Tigers at the end of the regular season.

BOSTON -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski interviewed his second managerial candidate in two days, but he didn't need a meet-and-greet for this one.

According to a baseball source, Monday's interview was with Brad Ausmus, who was let go by the Tigers at the end of the regular season.

Dombrowski hired Ausmus as the manager of the Tigers when Jim Leyland retired following the 2013 season.

Ausmus made a strong first impression on Dombrowski in 2014 while guiding the Tigers to the American League Central title. They worked together for most of '15 as well, but Dombrowski left the Tigers in August of that season and wound up with the Red Sox two weeks later.

The Boston Herald was first to report that the Red Sox interviewed Ausmus. He has also drawn interest from the Mets.

The Red Sox, who announced last week that John Farrell would not be returning as manager, have also requested permission to speak with D-backs bench coach Ron Gardenhire.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who played for the Red Sox from 2005-08, interviewed with Dombrowski in New York during Sunday's off-day in the American League Championship Series. Though Cora has never managed, he is a hot commodity this offseason -- MLB Network contributor Ken Rosenthal reported that Cora is Boston's top target. The New York Post reported that Cora will meet with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday. He has also been linked with the Tigers' and Phillies' openings.

Given Cora's fondness for the Red Sox organization, the team he won a World Series with in '07, Boston could have the inside track for his services. The former utility infielder was hired last offseason to A.J. Hinch's staff after a tenure as a television analyst at ESPN. Cora has also been a general manager of a team in his hometown in Puerto Rico, and he was the general manager for the Puerto Rico club that finished runner-up in this year's World Baseball Classic to the United States.

"His first year of coaching has gone well, given his ability to connect with players and given his baseball intellect," Hinch said last week. "He's very sharp, sees the game in an extraordinarily deep way, has really connected well with players in our clubhouse and spent a lot of time developing relationships and being the bench-coach liaison to the clubhouse that I asked him to be."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Hinch on Cora's interview with Red Sox

Gardenhire is the most veteran candidate to emerge so far for the Red Sox. Minnesota's skipper from 2002-14, Gardenhire led the Twins to six American League Central titles.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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