Well, this didn't end the way I was hoping.
Late last night, news broke from CSNNE's Sean McAdam that the Red Sox had hired former pitching coach and Toronto manager John Farrell to take the reins here in Boston. The news comes shortly after the Red Sox and Jays began negotiations for Farrell and the Red Sox wrapped up interviews with Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale, and Padres Special Assistant to the General Manager Brad Ausmus.
As compensation for Farrell, the Red Sox traded infielder Mike Aviles for pitcher David Carpenter.
Needless to say, I am quite disappointed in the decision. For one, the decision reeks of ownership overstepping Ben Cherington once again, as John Henry reached out to Toronto President Paul Beeston to initiate the talks, and all negotiations took place at the ownership level. Second, Farrell led the Blue Jays to an 81-81 record in his first season, and a 73-89 record in his second season. His in game decisions were highly underwhelming, and he was criticized by his players for being too lenient.
The decision appears to have been between Farrell and Padres Special Assistant to the General Manager Brad Ausmus. The Red Sox brass was thoroughly impressed with Ausmus' passion and knowledge of the game. Ausmus was supported by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who consistently said that Ausmus would be a great choice for the managerial vacancy, as well as Yankess pitcher Andy Pettite, who told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that Ausmus would be a "great choice" for manager.
I have made it clear that Ausmus was my favorite to win the job, but I can't complain a whole lot about the decision to hire Farrell. He wanted the job (he approached Toronto GM Alex Anthopolous after the regular season and told him that if the opportunity to manage the Red Sox came up, he would like to pursue it as it is his dream job), is very familiar with the organization (pitching coach from 2007-2011, worked in the Cleveland front office as the Director of Player Development with now Red Sox Assistant GM Mike Hazen), and from all indications, has the utmost respect of the Boston players. It was a very good choice to hire Farrell, and despite my personal disappointment that my favorite wasn't hired, I am still happy with the choice.
Besides, it can't be any worse than the Bobby V era, can it?
An industry source has indicated to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that it is very likely that Toronto first base coach Torey Lovullo, who was a candidate last year to replace Terry Francona, will join Farrell in Boston as the new bench coach. Other likely candidates to follow Farrell to Boston are third base coach Brian Butterfield, and extra coach Luis Rivera. It appears that Farrell will be allowed to hire his own staff, leaving the jobs of Tim Bogar, Gary Tuck, Randy Niemann, Alex Ochoa, and Jerry Royster in jeopardy.
With the wiggle room the Red Sox have in salary and a new manager now in place, the Red Sox can proceed with their offseason business as usual now. Unlike last season, when it took until December to name Bobby Valentine manager, decisions can be made on a normal schedule, as GM Ben Cherington can now work with Farrell to determine what players to sign and/or trade for.
While the Red Sox likely will not contend this season, they have a good chance to sooner rather than later. With top prospects making their way through the minors, Cherington preaching smart money management, not making wasteful moves, and smart baseball decisions, and hopefully the right manager in place, the Red Sox may soon be a World Series threat yet again.Back to the Boston Red Sox Newsfeed