Alex Ochoa, the Red Sox first-base coach in 2012, is leaning toward not returning to the organization for 2013. But Ochoa, who has been with the Red Sox since 2010, says his decision, which is "not etched in stone," is based on lifestyle and life issues.
His father, Carlos, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1971 with Alexs mother, is ill.
My mom has a little bit of help but its always nice to be around, Ochoa said Monday morning. So, Ive been thinking more of life than baseball, actually.
Ochoa has not talked with new manager John Farrell He spoke with Allard Baird, the Sox vice president of player personnel, about 10 days ago and general manager Ben Cherington about a month ago. So far, bullpen coach Gary Tuck is the only holdover to be added to Farrells staff, which also includes bench coach Torey Lovullo, pitching coach Juan Nieves and third base coach Brian Butterfield.
All the coaches from the 2012 staff were given permission to look for jobs elsewhere. Ochoas people skills and ability to communicate in three languages (English and Spanish, along with some Japanese he picked up in his six years playing there) would make him an attractive addition to a staff.
I really liked the Red Sox organization and I really didnt want to go to somebody else to start over again, Ochoa said. I had some inquiries with some other teams, but I wasnt interested.
Instead, Ochoa is considering joining his former agent, Scott Boras, calling it 'Plan B.'
Ive been with Scott since my second year in pro ball so we have a really, really good relationship, Ochoa said. Hes been wanting me to work for him since I stopped playing. So, well see what happens.
I have a good relationship with Boras and I wanted a chance to stay home more.
Ill be helping out in South Florida with the company, just being part of the East Coast team that he has, mostly down here in South Florida.
Ochoa -- who had been seen as tied to former manager Bobby Valentine, and as such probably not returning -- stressed that the Sox' disastrous 2012 season did not go into his decision making. Hes leaving the door open for the Sox.
"Im just waiting to see what they think," he said. "A lot of things have to do with how I feel if they do make an offer, if I want to be away for seven months again. But Im lucky to have options. A lot of people dont. Im blessed in that aspect."
Ochoa, 40, was a third-round pick of the Orioles in 1991 out of Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School in Florida. He played parts of eight seasons in the major leagues for the Mets (including one season whenValentine was the manager), Reds, Brewers, Twins, Rockies, and Angels.
He also played six seasons in Japan. In 2007, he was a non-roster invitee of the Sox, appearing in 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket. He joined the Sox' baseball operations department in 2010 as a special assistant.
In 2011, he was the hitting coach for High-A Salem. This past season was his first year on a major league staff.