Former Bethlehem Central standout Matt Quatraro is in conversations to land a managing job somewhere in Major League Baseball, sooner rather than later.
The Selkirk native and current bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays had interviewed for the manager jobs left vacant in both Pittsburgh and San Francisco, though each team decided to go elsewhere. But, as Houston and Boston inauspiciously parted ways from their head coaches this week, his name has been brought up by local media — particularly in Boston.
Tom Keegan of the Boston Herald “connected the dots” between Quatraro and Chaim Bloom, who was hired as Boston’s chief baseball officer last October. Bloom was previously employed by Tampa for 14 seasons before joining the Red Sox.
“Bloom knows him, presumably trusts him, and surely would like the idea of having the right-hand man of Rays manager Kevin Cash running his dugout because he is familiar with that organization’s unconventional methods,” wrote Keegan.
Quatraro started his professional baseball career as a catching prospect for the Rays in 1996. After his playing career was through, he started coaching in Tampa’s minor league system in 2004 before managing the Hudson Valley Renegades in 2006. He spent the next four years as a manager, and another four as a minor league hitting coordinator before joining Terry Francona’s bench in Cleveland in 2014.
Before Cleveland’s run for the World Series in 2018, the Indians were known to possess good pitching, but their hitting remarkably improved. Quatraro guided a young Indians ballclub as it ranked fifth in the majors with 4.55 runs per game, second in walks and fifth in on-base percentage during his four-year stint. He rejoined the Rays organization as the top club’s bench coach in October 2017.
The bench coach is often viewed as the immediate prerequisite to a managerial job. Though Quatraro appears to climb that ladder, not all prognosticators agree.
Ian Browne of MLB.com named Quatraro as an “external candidate” for the job. Though he suggests Quatraro has the aptitude to be a major league manager, there are other factors to consider with Boston. He leaned on MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal’s observation of those from the Rays organization who have moved on to become general managers elsewhere, and how they have not looked back to Tampa to fill vacant roles. Perhaps it is because some teams take steps to prevent the pilfering of talent by their former employees.
“Some teams have rules in place to that effect,” he wrote.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was fired Monday after he was named along with Houston Astros’ skipper AJ Hinch in a report the implicated them for using outside technology to steal signs from opposing teams. Cora was Houston’s bench coach while the team went on to win the World Series in 2017. He later guided the Red Sox through a championship season in 2018. Hinch was initially suspended a year by MLB before Houston fired him and its general manager. Cora reportedly agreed to quit the following day.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.