BOSTON — John Farrell’s defection to the Red Sox has left the majority of the Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff in limbo, with only Torey Lovullo headed to Boston where he’s expected to serve as the manager’s bench coach.
There have been suggestions the highly respected duo of third base coach Brian Butterfield and extra coach Luis Rivera may follow as well but at this point it’s believed they haven’t been contacted yet.
It’s possible they may still end up with the Red Sox, or return to Toronto, but on Sunday Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos phoned the entire staff and told them they were free to search for work elsewhere while he conducted his managerial search.
Butterfield, pitching coach Bruce Walton and hitting coach Dwayne Murphy were retained from Cito Gaston’s staff when Farrell took over the Blue Jays two years ago, with Rivera and bullpen coach Pat Hentgen promoted from within the organization.
Farrell indicated during the interview process that he was interested in retaining them, and the only hire purely his was Lovullo, who had been manager of triple-A Pawtucket and took over as first base coach.
Neither he nor the Red Sox have confirmed the move yet.
Given that Anthopoulos said Sunday he would take the early part of the week to develop a list of candidates and gather his thoughts on what he was looking for, it’s impossible to offer the coaches any guarantees the new manager will be willing to keep them like Farrell did.
The Blue Jays are expected to begin their manager search by interviewing candidates not available last time — Brad Ausmus, Jim Tracy, Manny Acta and Tim Wallach likely among them — before looping back to compare them against those spoken to last time, including finalists Butterfield, DeMarlo Hale and Sandy Alomar Jr.