Alex Cora explains why Red Sox 'can contend in 2021'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Justin Leger
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Alex Cora: Red Sox 'can contend' in 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Many expect the 2021 season to be a "bridge" year for the Boston Red Sox following a disappointing 2020 campaign.

Alex Cora believes that's selling his club short.

Speaking to reporters on the first day of spring training workouts, the Red Sox manager made it clear he expects the team to be competitive and possibly even be a contender come the postseason.

Tomase: What Sox are getting in Rays' top catching prospect

"We can contend in 2021," Cora said. "This is a good baseball team. It's a team that's very versatile, dynamic, a bunch of good athletes, not only on the position player side but on the pitching staff wise. You've got sinkers and sliders and cutters and curveballs and fastballs up and fastballs down, changeups. We're not one-dimensional. We have a good pitching staff.

"I'm very excited about what the organization has done since I got here in November. I said it a few days ago if you look at who we were in Nov. 5 or 6 to where we're at now, we are a lot better. That's what we can control right now. I'm very happy with the players we have. What Chaim [Bloom] and the group is doing to keep getting better, which is exciting."

Versatility and pitching depth topped the Red Sox's priority list this offseason. They signed two veteran utility men in Kiké Hernandez and Marwin Gonazlez, who can play virtually anywhere on the diamond. Garrett Richards, Matt Andriese, Adam Ottavino, and Hirokazu Sawamura were among the notable additions to the pitching staff.

While a World Series title in 2021 may seem like a pipe dream for Boston, but Cora believes in his team's ability to sneak their way into the playoffs and make some noise.

“We have a good team, and we have a chance to play in October," Cora said. “We have a good baseball team — very balanced, very versatile. So, if you get to October, you only have to win 11 or 12 (games), whatever it is. You take care of business in October. But we have a chance to play in October.”

With oddsmakers and fans thinking otherwise, the Red Sox will be out to prove the doubters wrong when the season begins April 1.