Will Venable AP

The Athletics may look to poach a key member of the Red Sox’ coaching staff for their managerial opening.

Red Sox bench coach Will Venable has interviewed for Oakland’s opening, an industry source confirmed Monday night. The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal first reported the A’s’ interest.

Venable, 39, joined Alex Cora’s staff last winter after three years as a base coach with the Cubs. The former Padres outfielder has previously interviewed for at least five openings; the Cubs, Giants and Astros talked to him after the 2019 season and the Red Sox and Tigers both considered him last offseason. It does not appear Venable has interviewed with any other clubs this winter. The Mets and Athletics are the only two clubs with open positions at this point in the winter.

Oakland has been searching for a new skipper since shortly after the postseason, when longtime manager Bob Melvin departed to take the same job with the Padres. Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, Astros bench coach Joe Espada and three Oakland coaches (Mark Kotsay, Marcus Jensen and Darren Bush) are in the mix, according to The Athletic.

Though the Red Sox have not yet announced their 2022 coaching staff, Venable will return as Cora’s right-hand man if he does not get a managerial job elsewhere. Boston is looking to fill two openings after hitting coach Tim Hyers left for the Rangers and first base coach Tom Goodwin was fired, though Pete Fatse is expected to be promoted to hitting coach. It’s likely Boston hires an assistant hitting coach to take Fatse’s old role in addition to a new first base coach.

IN A BIT of a surprise, the Red Sox have expressed at least some interest in free agent shortstop Trevor Story this winter, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (on Audacy Sports’ Big Time Baseball podcast). Heyman reports that the Astros and Mariners were also involved in talks for the longtime Rockie before baseball went into a lockout last week, freezing all free-agent negotiations.

With Corey Seager (Rangers), Marcus Semien (Rangers) and Javier Báez (Tigers) all off the board, Story is one of two top free agent shortstops still available, along with Carlos Correa. Story was linked to both Texas and Detroit before those clubs struck with their early moves; the Rockies have also been rumored to want Story back despite not making a serious effort to re-sign him before he hit free agency.

The Red Sox, who have Xander Bogaerts entrenched at shortstop, are not an obvious fit for Story, but they could theoretically move the soon-to-be 30-year-old to second base in 2022 and then reassess their middle infield situation in the years to come. Bogaerts can opt out of his contract and hit free agency next winter, so adding Story would give the Red Sox a long-term shortstop option, even if Bogaerts departs. If the club locked out both on long-term deals, they could theoretically switch their positions down the road, if necessary.

Though Story’s defense has been inconsistent at times, he ranked fourth among all big-league shortstops in defensive runs saved (9) in 2021, which was far better than Bogaerts’ mark (-5). Story’s offensive consistency, however, is unquestioned, as he owns a career .272 average and .863 OPS in six big-league seasons and posted a .251 average with 24 homers, 75 RBI and an .801 OPS in 142 games last season. Story has benefited from playing his entire career at the hitter-friendly Coors Field, as his home average (.303) and OPS (.972) are both significantly higher than his road numbers (.241 average, .752 OPS).


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