The Red Sox are expected to decide in the next day or two whether to rehire Alex Cora as manager, or go outside the organization, with former Rays player Sam Fuld viewed as the top outside candidate. David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The long wait will soon be over and a winner will – finally – be declared. The Red Sox are about to name their new manager.

All indications are that the Red Sox are getting close to the finish line on their weeks-long managerial search to name Ron Roenicke’s successor. Here’s where things currently stand:

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reported Thursday that the club has narrowed its pool of potential candidates to three, but a source with knowledge of the process believes its a two-horse race. Barring a major surprise, the club will either bring back Alex Cora or hire Phillies player information coordinator Sam Fuld, who is close with Boston’s chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom, from the time they shared together with the Rays.

Marlins bench coach James Rowson and Pirates bench coach Don Kelly have not officially been ruled out but are seen as long-shot candidates.

According to Speier, Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza has been told he is out of the running. Of the seven non-Cora and non-Fuld candidates who were interviewed, Mendoza and Diamondbacks bench coach Luis Urueta (who was eliminated from the process late last week) appeared to have the best chances of waging long-shot runs at the job. We now know that won’t happen.

The remaining candidates are waiting for an answer, like the rest of us. Cora, who received a visit from top Red Sox brass (including Bloom and General Manager Brian O’Halloran) in Puerto Rico late last week, spent Thursday at home with his family. Fuld, a New Hampshire native, lives in the Philadelphia area; it’s unclear if he has traveled to Boston to meet with team officials, but it’s hard to imagine he has advanced this far in the process without doing so.

The Red Sox are keeping their process close to the vest, but it’s clear the club isn’t taking this decision lightly. If it is really down to Cora and Fuld, a possible dynamic that could emerge within the front office would pit Cora’s supporters, including the ownership group, coaching staff and players, against Bloom, who may prefer Fuld and is said to have decision-making power here.

Multiple questions then emerge. Does Bloom really have the final say, or will John Henry, Tom Werner and Sam Kennedy push to overrule him after vowing that it was Bloom’s call to make? Do Henry, Werner and Kennedy trust Bloom enough after a year of working with him to let him make a bold choice like Fuld

How collaborative really is this front office group, which includes Bloom and four top lieutenants who have each been with the Sox for more than a decade. Bloom doesn’t seem like the type whose ego would get in the way of a sound decision, virtually eliminating the thought that he could bully his way to a Fuld hire even if his subordinates are pushing for Cora. It’s also noteworthy that Bloom and Cora seemed to get along very well during their short time together last fall and – despite Bloom’s comments during the season that Cora wasn’t factoring into Boston’s future plans – Bloom was truly disappointed he wouldn’t have the chance to work with Cora when the sides parted ways.

Will the Red Sox go with a safe, known quantity in Cora? Or will the club make a risky move for Fuld? Stay tuned.

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