Rumors have been circulating all throughout Red Sox Nation about John Farrell coming to Boston to occupy the managerial vacancy. That has continued in recent hours with reports about how the Red Sox are closing in on landing the former Red Sox pitching coach. Although the Red Sox have interviewed four other managerial candidates (Brad Ausmus, Tim Wallach, DeMarlo Hale, and Tony Pena), it appears that Farrell is the organization’s (or at least Larry Lucchino’s) top choice for the job.
Lucchino has ruled with an iron fist over the Red Sox since Theo Epstein’s departure with embarrassing results. His idiocy resulted in the hiring of Bobby Valentine last winter, which gave the Red Sox a total of 69 wins, rather than picking one of several other qualified candidates the Red Sox had interviewed.
I have no doubt that John Farrell will be better than Valentine. However, the issue of compensation comes up if the Red Sox plan on hiring the current Blue Jays’ manager. Last year, the Red Sox attempted to land Farrell from the Jays, and in return, Toronto asked for Clay Buchholz. After a 73-89 season in 2012, their asking price probably won’t be as high, but the Red Sox still may need to surrender a top prospect or decent veteran.
To a certain degree, Lucchino does have a point though. As the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010, Farrell developed bonds with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and the now departed Josh Beckett; all of those pitchers’ performances declined in Farrell’s absence. Farrell’s presence was always known in Boston and he was a man that the Red Sox respected tremendously, more than can be said about Bobby “Gets In Bad Relationships With Players Almost Immediately” Valentine.
Still, in a rebuilding phase, the Red Sox absolutely need to keep their farm system intact in recent years. I trust that Farrell could be a solid manager that could help to rebuild a winning tradition in Boston. However, I’m also confident that any of the other candidates the Red Sox interviewed could do the same. Plus, the Red Sox wouldn’t need to give anything up to get Ausmus, Hale, Pena, or Wallach.