How Alex Cora is approaching MLB trade deadline


Alex Cora has gone through all kinds of trade deadlines.

As a player, he lived through 2008 when the Red Sox polled the clubhouse regarding the viability of Manny Ramirez sticking around, ultimately leading to the slugger being shipped to the Dodgers.

Two years ago he was the bench coach on a Houston Astros team that had some displeased players after Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow didn't pull the trigger on a deal prior to July 31. (He would, of course, get Justin Verlander a month later.)

And then there was Cora's first-go-round as the manager of a team last July.

"It’s good. Open. Talk. There’s a lot of people around during these days," he noted. "We talk in the morning before the games after games. I showed up early today and sit down with them. It’s a learning experience. Last year I was sitting in there and just listening to every aspect. What it takes. There’s more than talent, there’s more stuff than just ‘He's talented and can help you guys out.’ The financial aspect of it, contract, all this stuff comes into play, incentives and whatever, clauses, which is cool. I think that that’s something I enjoy about the business. I get to learn from Dave (Dombrowski). Like I’ve been saying all along you don’t work 40 years in this business just because you’re lucky. You have to be good at it and he’s one of the best."

So, is there a feeling of needing some sort of addition in that Red Sox' clubhouse?

"I think every team feels that way, every team feels that way," Cora said. "But we pulled one already (Andrew Cashner), earlier than anybody else and we feel like it’s going to work out, the last two starts by Cash is what, 12 innings, something we didn’t have the whole season, so kind of like what we were looking for, a guy who gives a chance to win ballgames, he’s done that the last two."

The difference this time around, of course, is that there are no more trade deadlines after 4 p.m. Wednesday. As it turns out, it seems to be a dynamic that is leading teams to squeezing out every last moment before having to make a decision.

"It’s a different game right now. It’s a different game," Cora said. "There’s no August. As a GM, not even talking about with Dave or whatever, but I was thinking about it this morning, it’s not only that reliever or a starter. Talking about a backup catcher or a utility infielder. A fourth outfielder. After this, it’s over. I know you have to prepare yourself during the season and you have to prepare your Minor League system for August and September but it’s not the getting a backup catcher in the middle of August or September or something like that. Now, you’ve got 48 hours so you’re thinking about a lot of moves. And in other cases, there’s no Justin Verlander at the end of August. It’s a different ballgame. It’s interesting – very interesting."

Alex Cora's "crazy" Monday night included farm animals and shooting down fake trade news.#RedSox | @RedSox | #DirtyWater

— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) July 30, 2019