Alex Cora responds to criticism of Red Sox over Kevin Plawecki .’s release

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Alex Cora pushes back criticism over Kevin Plawecki’s release that originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Who knew the release of a backup catcher would cause so much controversy?

The Boston Red Sox last week appointed veteran catcher Kevin Plawecki on assignment, freeing up a spot on the roster to raise pitching prospect Franklin German from Triple-A Worcester.

Plawecki was a popular figure at the Boston clubhouse and his release later in the week did not sit well with players like pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who called the move “disappointing” and “a shock to me.”

Tomase: Red Sox players must acknowledge their role in Plawecki’s departure

Plawecki’s release also drew criticism from the outside, with many questioning why the team parted ways with a clubhouse “glue guy” rather than a fringe member like outfielder Abraham Almonte.

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While Red Sox manager Alex Cora may not agree with all the moves Chaim Bloom has made this season, he came to Boston’s Chief Baseball Officer’s defense on Wednesday regarding Plawecki’s decision.

“I hate that people call business when you have to make baseball decisions,” Cora told WEEI’s “Merloni, Mego & Fauria” in a radio interview.

“In the same way, we have to move on from (Jeurys) Familia because we had to see other relievers – at this point we had to play (catchers) Reese (McGuire) and Connor (Wong) more. There is also value with (Abraham) Almonte remains here, and people don’t see that aspect, right?”

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Cora added that keeping “journeyman of Four-A” players like Almonte, Rob Refsnyder and John Schreiber on the list essentially allows them to audition for their next job on a major league team. Plawecki, who has eight years of Major League experience as a solid back catcher, didn’t necessarily need that audition.

“We love Kevin,” Cora said. “I think Kevin will be fine. He will probably become a top player sooner rather than later. We appreciate everything he has done for us.”

Cora was right, like the Texas Rangers Plawecki signed a major-league contract Wednesday night.

As for speculation that morale is low in a Red Sox clubhouse that has lost several beloved players since the team moved to the 2021 ALCS – Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber and Christian Vazquez, to name a few – Cora insisted those are club fine.

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“People have their ideas about timing, all that. The only thing I can tell you from my side, I remember I was in the clubhouse with 15-18 people after the decision was made and we had a few drinks and we talked over the last year and this year with Kevin,” Cora said.

“All these things about us being apart and this, whatever — yes, people have opinions, but at the end of the day we’re still family, we have a great culture. We wish Kevin nothing but the best.”