The Boston Red Sox are in the market for a new manager. John Farrell was relieved of his duties last week, less than 48 hours after his team was knocked out of the postseason in the first round for the second straight year.

On Sunday, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski met with Astros bench coach Alex Cora to discuss the position, according to news reports. Brad Ausmus, Ron Gardenhire, DeMarlo Hale, Gabe Kapler and Gary DiSarcina are other names being bandied about for the position. It could be any one of these candidates, or someone else.

The new manager will inherit a very good team. The Sox are coming off back-to-back division titles for the first time in history and have a nucleus of young players who should keep the team competitive for the coming years.

There are also issues that need to be addressed immediately. It will be up to Dombrowski to bolster the roster, while others issues will have to be dealt with by the man who inherits Farrell’s office.

The most important issue is the lack of power the Red Sox displayed in 2017. In an age of unprecedented home run totals, the Red Sox hit the fewest homers in the American League. The conversation in batting cages around the game is centered on launch angles and exit velocity. The Red Sox certainly didn’t launch enough balls with adequate velocity this season.

A new manager won’t hit 30 or more home runs in 2018. And the Red Sox won’t be the team they hope to be unless they find someone who can provide a power boost. Dombrowski needs to find that type of hitter to drop into the heart of the order if he hopes to give his new manager the tools necessary to succeed.

A true cleanup hitter – one to fill the void left by the retirement of David Ortiz – would take the pressure off young hitters like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. Both took steps backward after Ortiz retired, creating a lineup that seemed to be searching for leadership that just wasn’t there.

In baseball, leadership is shown in many ways. A veteran slugger can show it by delivering power in the clutch. Additionally, leadership needs to be shown in the clubhouse. Ortiz had a way of taking pressure off young players by saying the right thing at the right time, be it in the locker room or the dugout. The Sox lacked his presence on and off the field in many ways.

Much was made of the team’s confrontations with the media this season. David Price clashed with writers and broadcasters and was unrepentant in doing so. No one plays harder and through more physical adversity than Dustin Pedroia, but he didn’t help his young teammates with his reaction to the Manny Machado incident early in the season.

When Dombrowski looks to add an impact bat to the 2018 Red Sox lineup, he will need to be cognizant of the fact that this team needs an influx of leadership as much as it needs an increase in HR and RBI production. A veteran presence should help settle the clubhouse uncertainty for a team that lost eight of its final nine games in 2016, including playoffs, and eight of its final 11 games this year.

In baseball, as in life, leadership takes many forms. The new manager will be expected to lead this team from the underachieving doldrums of the past two seasons into an era where just qualifying for the playoffs isn’t enough. The Sox thought they had built a team ready to battle for a championship in 2017; by the end of the season it was clear they didn’t have the talent to compete with the Astros. Just like they didn’t have enough to compete with the Indians last fall.

On the field, the Sox need a leader who can show the team’s young player what it takes to succeed in October. That player will need to lead the way with his bat as much as with his words. Finding the right man to fill that spot might be every bit as important as finding a manger to replace Farrell in 2018.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.