BOSTON — Tony La Russa joined the Red Sox in a vice president’s role, and he will assist president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, the team announced Thursday.

La Russa and Dombrowski have been friends for nearly 40 years, since La Russa managed the Chicago White Sox and Dombrowski worked in the front office.

La Russa, 73, spent the past four seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ front office. He announced last month that he would step down as the club’s chief baseball analyst, and his contract with the Diamondbacks expired on Tuesday.

After getting ousted from the playoffs in the American League Division Series for a second consecutive year, the Red Sox dismissed manager John Farrell on Oct. 11. Ten days later, they hired Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora as their new manager. Cora is expected to be introduced at Fenway Park in the coming days.

La Russa spent 33 seasons as a manager, beginning in 1979 with the White Sox when Dombrowski was an administrative assistant in the organization. La Russa won the World Series in 1989 with the Oakland Athletics and in 2006 and ’11 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He retired from managing after the 2011 season and worked in the commissioner’s office before joining Arizona’s front office.

In announcing his decision to leave the Diamondbacks, La Russa told the Arizona Republic that he intended to keep working in baseball. Reached by ESPN two weeks ago, he said he wasn’t interested in managing again.

“Passing the managerial baton,” he said. “I’m done.”