The Boston Red Sox thought John Farrell was going to be their manager in 2012.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Farrell is the name to watch this off-season in Boston after the Toronto Blue Jays manager came close to joining his former team last fall.
“The Red Sox actually thought they were going to get him last fall,” Olney said on ESPN’s Mike & Mike Monday morning. “They got very close, but the Blue Jays pulled back. I think Toronto will go to John Farrell – whose contract expires at the end of next year – and ask him, ‘look, do you want to stay here?’
“If he says no, it would make sense for the Jays to go to the Red Sox and make a trade. Maybe a John Farrell for Daniel Bard type thing.”
The Red Sox reportedly targeted Farrell – the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010 under manager Terry Francona — as their next skipper after Francona was fired at the end of last season.
With the Farrell-to-Boston rumours circulating last winter, the Blue Jays changed a club policy that had allowed employees under contract to leave for lateral positions with other organizations. The Blue Jays have steadfastly refused to address Farrell’s contract status and at the time said the change in club policy had nothing to do with preventing him from joining the Red Sox.
As for Farrell, it remains unclear if he has an interest in returning to Boston. When asked recently about the latest round of rumours, Farrell would only say that he has another year remaining on his contract with Toronto.
Bobby Valentine took over for Francona, and under him, the Red Sox have struggled as several reports have emerged about clubhouse problems and players failing to get along with Valentine.
Rookie Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has blown up the team’s roster, shipping out star players out Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis in recent weeks, ridding the team of more than $250 million in guaranteed contracts between now and 2017.
Boston currently sits is six games under .500 as of Monday and remain nine games behind the first-place New York Yankees.