Ron Roenicke will not return to Red Sox in 2021

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Ron Roenicke will not return as Red Sox manager in 2021.

Boston released a statement announcing the decision prior to Sunday’s season finale against the Braves. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said a search for the club’s next hire would begin immediately.

Boston entered its last game with a 23-36 mark. The Red Sox were one loss or one Baltimore win from finishing last in the American League East for the fourth time in the last nine years. Boston will set a franchise worst in earned-run average and looks set for a full roster rebuild entering the offseason.

“It was really a forward-looking decision,” Bloom said. “Just looking out over the long haul in our responsibilities to do the right thing for the Boston Red Sox over the long term. Deciding that a new voice, a different energy is something that would serve us well in the long haul.

“As highly as we continue to think of the job Ron did, this is really about looking forward.”

Roenicke was named interim manager in February after Boston mutually parted ways with Alex Cora. The Red Sox removed Roenicke’s interim tag in April when he was cleared in Major League Baseball’s investigation into the club’s 2018 electronic sign-stealing. Roenicke signed a one-year deal with a club option for next season.

“The circumstances under which the job was available were really unusual and had their own impact on the group dynamic,” Bloom said. “That was something we needed to factor in terms of who was going to be able to step in and do this job given those circumstances.

“Then also the timing, where you’re so close to spring training. You would not have had time to do a lot of things with the manager whether it’s a new manager or a returning manager that you might like to do in the offseason. Those had an impact on our process.”

Boston got off to a 6-18 start and never recovered. The Red Sox lost their first nine games to the Yankees and finished a combined 4-16 against New York and the Rays. Tampa Bay entered Sunday as the A.L. East champions and 16 games ahead of Boston.

“If you’re not in the playoffs — especially the way the year unfolded — you’re not happy,” Bloom said. “It wasn’t fun. It’s no fun to lose.

“Even though it was only 60 games, it felt like a heck of a lot longer than that. I think that probably goes without saying.”

The Red Sox were sellers ahead of the Aug. 31 trade deadline, dealing off veteran pieces like Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Mitch Moreland, Kevin Pillar and Josh Osich. That followed the February trade of Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, with Alex Verdugo the lone current major-leaguer received in return. Bloom was able to reset the club’s Competitive Balance Tax penalties by moving $42 million in salary due to Betts and Price this season.

Boston also dealt with a pair of significant absences in its starting rotation this season. Chris Sale had Tommy John surgery in late March, and the Red Sox didn’t acquire another elite starting pitcher to replace him. Eduardo Rodriguez developed myocarditis — an inflammation of his heart muscle — while recovering from COVID-19 and was shut down from all physical activity in late July.

Roenicke came to Boston in 2018 as the bench coach under Cora. The Red Sox set a franchise record with 108 wins and became the first team to defeat three 100-win opponents in the playoffs. Boston steamed past the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers while capturing the club’s fourth championship this century.

“I think what he brought to our group navigating those and leading the group through those challenges was really impressive,” Bloom said. “It was going to be a tough season. It turned out to be tougher than anybody could have imagined.”

Roenicke previously managed the Brewers, from 2011-15. He led Milwaukee to the National League Championship Series in his first season and compiled an overall record of 342-331. Roenicke has also worked in coaching roles with the Dodgers and Angels.


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