TORONTO — Amid the Boston Red Sox’s continuing controversy and with his own team bound for Fenway Park later this week, John Farrell said Tuesday he was “unequivocally” committed to the Toronto Blue Jays and revealed there is one season remaining on his contract as manager.
Farrell’s comments come with his name continually arising in chatter about potential replacements for Bobby Valentine, whose dismal run as manager of the Red Sox seems destined to end at the season’s conclusion.
With the Blue Jays scheduled to open a three-game set in Boston this weekend, another bout of speculation is possible, and Farrell made his strongest statements on the matter to this point.
“My focus is clearly here with the Blue Jays, I’m under contract obviously,” he said when asked how he could prevent the talk from becoming a distraction. “I can understand that there can be a natural connection because I’ve worked there in the past, but my focus and my commitment has been and is here, unequivocally.”
In reply to a follow-up question on whether his contract expired after the 2013 season, he replied: “Yeah.”
The Blue Jays last fall instituted a club policy preventing club employees under contract from taking the same job with a rival team in direct response to the Red Sox’s reported interest in Farrell.
That was supposed to cut-off questions about his future, but it resurfaced again this year once Valentine’s fate fell into doubt.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos has gone to great lengths to keep the duration of Farrell’s contract a secret, saying that even if an extension was negotiated, it would not be announced.
WRIST REPAIR: Jose Bautista underwent surgery in Cleveland on Tuesday to repair a damaged sheath that holds in place a tendon on the pinky side of his left wrist, an operation the team termed a success.
Hand/wrist specialist Dr. Thomas Graham performed the procedure, which should have Bautista ready for spring training with time to spare.
REINFORCEMENTS: Outfielder Anthony Gose and reliever Chad Beck joined the Blue Jays on Tuesday and will be the last September additions aside from injured players activated off the disabled list.
Gose will share time in right field with Moises Sierra, playing mostly against right-handed pitching.
Yan Gomes, expected to be a September addition, wasn’t recalled because of the progress J.P. Arencibia has been making in coming back from a broken right hand. The tentative plan is for Arencibia to join the team Friday in Boston.
“That’s had direct impact on the third catcher,” said Farrell.
David Cooper (back) was scheduled to play with Arencibia for single-A Dunedin on Tuesday, while Brett Lawrie (oblique) continues to take part in baseball activities and the Blue Jays are hoping to have him play for Dunedin before its season ends.
SIX-MAN: The Blue Jays are considering moving to a six-man staff Sept. 24 when a double-header in Baltimore will mean they’ll need an extra starter.
They had initially talked of moving to a six-man rotation earlier in the month but given the handful of off-days they have coming up, decided against it until the twin-bill against the Orioles.
“The need for that additional starter exists there, and then we run it out from that point,” said Farrell. “Without being definitive … the 24th through the end of the season is the likely time.”