Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell tops most of the speculated Boston Red Sox managerial wish lists. If the Red Sox do indeed want their former pitching coach to take Bobby Valentine's place in 2013, will the Jays want something in return?
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports via Twitter that the Jays probably won't block a Farrell-Red Sox reunion.
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports the opposite:
If the Red Sox really want John Farrell to be their next manager, it’s going to cost them.
Even though the Toronto Blue Jays haven’t won in two seasons under Farrell, who has been at the center of some controversy over the past few weeks, a major league source said yesterday that team president Paul Beeston would demand compensation for allowing Farrell out of the final year of his contract, especially to join an AL East rival.
While the source stopped short of saying the Blue Jays would ask for something “significant,” it’s clear they would want “a decent player,” according the source, even if Farrell tells them he would prefer to leave or refuses to discuss a contract extension.
The Red Sox unsuccessfully tried to coax Farrell away from the Jays to replace Terry Francona in 2011, before eventually hiring Valentine. Farrell's managerial performance in 2012 hasn't raised his stock outside of Boston after finishing the second season of a three-year contract with mixed results. The Jays needed a season-ending sweep of the Minnesota Twins to finish 73-89 and avoid a 90-loss season.
Farrell also took heat for letting shortstop Yunel Escobar play against the Red Sox with a homophobic slur written in Spanish on his eye black strips last month. The Jays eventually suspended Escobar for three game, but Farrell excused the incident as a cultural difference.
Omar Vizquel, a 24-year veteran who played a utility role for the Jays before retiring last week, openly criticized Farrell's handling of the team to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
“If you make mistakes and nobody says anything about it — they just let it go — we’re going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again,” said Vizquel, who suggested that the coaching staff was being too lenient with a young Blue Jays club this season.
“I tried to do my best, a little helping here and there. But I think the coaching staff have a big responsibility to kind of get in there and tie things up a little, have a bit more communication with their players and try to make this thing happen the right way.”