Alex Cora Agrees to New Deal with Boston Red Sox

Alex Cora is getting a much-deserved pay raise…

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican Major League Baseball manager, the Boston Red Sox‘s first-year manager, has agreed to a new deal with the team that includes a one-year extension through the 2021 season and, most likely, a significant raise. Terms have not been announced.

Alex Cora

Cora was one of the lowest-paid skippers in the MLB last season on his way to winning a franchise-record 108 games and the World Series.

“We have consistently been impressed by Alex at every turn,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. “His knowledge of the game, ability to connect with our players, and his incredible instincts and decisiveness led us to an historic championship season. We know we are in good hands, and could not be more pleased to know he will be with us for the foreseeable future.”

“Alex did a tremendous job for our club all year long and we wanted to reward him for his efforts after an amazing season,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We are extremely happy that he will be with us and leading our club on the field.”

Last season, Cora made $800,000, tied with the Braves’ Brian Snitker and the Mariners’ Scott Servais for the lowest salary among managers to start the season.

Snitker won Manager of the Year in the National League, and Cora finished second in voting for the American League award.

“Since day one, John and Linda Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon, Sam Kennedy, and Dave Dombrowski have been incredibly supportive of me and my family, and for that I am extremely grateful,” Cora said. “For me, 2018 was not only historic, but it was special as well, both on and off the field. We have a great appreciation for our accomplishments this past year, but now our focus moves forward to the season ahead and defending our World Series title.”

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who retired following the season, all made $6 million last season.

Cora became only the second Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history, joining Edwin Rodriguez, who managed the Florida Marlins for parts of the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Cora was the fifth major league manager to win a World Series in his first season, joining Bob Brenly (2001, Arizona Diamondbacks), Ralph Houk (1961, New York Yankees), Eddie Dyer (1946, St. Louis Cardinals) and Bucky Harris (1924, Washington Senators).

Lopez to Serve as Special Instructor During the San Francisco Giants’ Spring Training

Javier Lopez has a Giant(s) responsibility…

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican former baseball pitcher, who recently retired from the San Francisco Giants, will work as a special instructor for the team at spring training.

Javier Lopez

Giants general manager Bobby Evans says that Lopez — an important reliever on the Giants’ World Series winners in 2010, ’12 and ’14 — would join the team at its Scottsdale spring home. Pitchers and catchers report Monday with their first workout Tuesday.

“Good for him. We really appreciate what he did here,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Lopez. “When we acquired him in 2010, he helped solidify that bullpen and helped us win that World Series in 2010, getting those big left-handers out for us. As good a player as he is, he’s a better person. Javi’s one of those guys that everybody likes, very much respected and appreciated as a teammate and of course, for me, what he did in the bullpen.”

The four-time World Series champion, who began his career with the Colorado Rockies in 2003, has also played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tavares Homers for the St. Louis Cardinals in First Major League Game

It’s a memorable Major League Baseball debut for Oscar Taveras

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, hit a home run in his first game as an MLB player, helping lead his team to a 2-0 victory.

Oscar Tavares

Taveras’ home run was hit off of the San Francisco GiantsYusmeiro Petit — filling in for an injured Matt Cain — in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“What a great day for him, one I’m sure he’ll never forget, and neither will we,” said manager Mike Matheny. “For him to come up and do it in that situation, it’s kind of mind-boggling.”

Taveras homered in his second career at-bat.

“Everybody knows it’s gone,” Taveras said. “That was a good swing right there. I’m so happy right now.”

Petit (3-3) gave up two hits in six innings for the Giants, but one of those was Taveras’ 418-foot drive in the fifth.

“Our guy did a good job,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We just didn’t do anything offensively.”

Taveras was batting .325 in 49 games with Triple-A Memphis with seven homers and 40 RBIs when the Cardinals called up the top prospect. He took the place of Matt Adams, who was put on the disabled list with a left calf strain.

Taveras was ESPN MLB analyst Keith Law‘s No. 5 prospect for 2014 and No. 2 for 2013.