The Boston Red Sox have a new manager: John Farrell, the Toronto Blue Jays manager and former Red Sox pitching coach, signed a multyear deal to return to Boston late Saturday night.
Farrell had one year left on his contract with Toronto, so in the negotiations the Red Sox agreed to send infielder Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays to seal the deal. As a result, there will be a vacancy at shortstop, with seems to be a yearly ritual for the Red Sox. Boston will also receive the proverbial “player to be named later” from the Jays.
Farrell, 50, was the Sox pitching coach under Terry Francona from 2007-2010 and and reportedly is held in high regard by the players — especially the the team’s troubled pitching staff — and management. Farrell pitched 14 years in the majors, compiling a record of 36-46.
As part of the managerial search, the Red Sox also interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale, and thought highly of all these candidates especially Asmus. According to the Boston Herald,
“The final decision came down to Farrell vs. Ausmus, a Connecticut native with a home on the Cape who impressed the Red Sox with his intelligence and passion, despite having never managed.
“But in the end, Farrell’s experience and history within the organization won out, and he should be introduced before the start of the World Series on Wednesday.”
The Red Sox wanted Farrell for the 2011 season, but Toronto wouldn’t cut him loose unless the Sox gave up a front-line player in return, so the team hired Bobby Valentine as what amounted to a placeholder. In 2012, the Valentine-led Red Sox finished last in the American League East with a record of 69-93, their worst showing in about 40 years. The team didn’t settle on Valentine until December, so ownership apparently wanted to get this key decision finalized quickly this time around.
Farrell didn’t set any records in managing the Blue Jays for the last two years either, however, as the Boston Herald explains: “Farrell just finished consecutive fourth-place seasons in Toronto, where the Jays went 81-81 in 2011 before slumping to 73-89 this year after a raft of injuries decimated their starting rotation.”
Watch this clip from Comcast SportsNet when the news of the John Farrell hiring was breaking:
[Image credit: Keith Allison]