It is a topic that just ton’t go away. John Farrell returning to Boston is a constant discussion with Red Sox fans and the media although Bobby Valentine is still employed by the Red Sox, at least for now. Farrell’s name is said to be at the top of the wish list for the Sox ownership and management groups if and when they look at replacing Valentine.
It’s reported in the Boston Globe that people who know Farrell say that he and his family love Boston and would welcome the opportunity to return to the city. That makes both parties interested in one another and given Farrell’s two-year experience in Toronto where he cut his teeth as a manager, the Red Sox would not be hiring a rookie candidate. In fact he’d be the opposite when you consider how well he knows most of the Red Sox roster, management and daily intricacies of the team.
But it’s highly unlikely the Jays will straight out fire Farrell and thus making the acquisition process easy for the Red Sox, if in fact this is the road they choose to go down (all systems point that it is). Valentine will likely be fired after the season, much to many fans dismay who want him gone as soon as possible, leaving the manager’s office vacant and ready for the Sox former pitching coach. Negotiations will be difficult with the Jays as they have a new club policy that states an employee is not allowed to leave the organization to take a lateral transfer with another club, let alone one in the same division.
Should Farrell voice his desire to leave Toronto and return to Boston, then the Jays hands could be forced a little, playing into the Red Sox favor. The Jays will want at least one solid prospect in return for Farrell and here’s where the story takes an interesting twist. The name Rubby De La Rosa could be the link to getting Farrell back in Boston.
De La Rosa was part of the package that was sent to Boston in return for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. He was one of many prospects but wasn’t initially named in the deal, but was rather one of the two “players to be named later.”
The Dodgers had put De La Rosa on waivers and was initially claimed by the Jays before LA pulled him back to retain his rights, only to trade them to Boston a short while later. De La Rosa can’t officially be traded until the off season because he was pulled back from the waiver claim, but it doesn’t mean his name has not been associated with the trade.
So the Jays have interest in the hard throwing righty who now belongs to Boston. The Red Sox have something the Jays want and the Jays have something the Red Sox want. Let’s make a deal right? Not so fast.
Nick Cafardo says that De La Rosa could be a front-end starter for Boston down the road and letting him go now may not be in the cards that Ben Cherington has to play with. Cafardo asks the question if Boston could wait one-year until Farrell’s deal with Toronto expires and then sign him without having to give up compensation. Meaning it would either be another year with Valentine or an in-term manager. Either options are not acceptable when we hear John Henry state that the Red Sox will compete for the division next season, making a full-time manager who plans on being around for a while the only way to go.
The Jays wanted Clay Buchholz this past winter when Boston asked about Farrell, making it certain they’ll want De La Rosa and nothing short of that level of talent if they would consider letting Farrell go to Boston. A creative title may have to be slipped in on Farrell’s business card so it’s not a straight job transfer from one organization to another, but those things have a way of working themselves out. For now the focus is on whether or not Boston would surrender a prospect like De La Rosa.
Keep in mind that the Red Sox saw their farm system raided when the San Diego Padres took some of the best talent Boston could offer for Adrian Gonzalez. We all know how well that worked out and now that the farm system is some what replenished, is Cherington ready to part ways with another promising arm? Especially when you consider how badly the Sox need help in the pitching department.
Bill James is said to be back on the front lines with the Red Sox, meaning any roster moves that are made will likely go through him first. Farrell’s position doesn’t exactly coincide with James philosophy of finding players who can get on base or pitchers who keep the walks down so giving up a promising arm like De La Rosa could be a hard sell on James.
But it is interesting to hear that the Red Sox took on De La Rosa as one of the players to be named later after the Jays had tried to claim him from the waiver wire. Coincidence? Possibly, but if the Red Sox are serious about bringing back John Farrell then this could be the starting point of discussions between the two clubs. The price tag on Farrell will be high and De La Rosa is a promising talent. How bad do the owners and Cherington want an old friend in Farrell? Time will tell.