John Farrell Rumors

AL Notes: Konerko, Happ, Farrell

White Sox great Paul Konerko‘s number will be retired today, as Bruce Levine of CBSChicago.com notes. Since retiring last season, Konerko says, he has watched the White Sox on occasion but hasn’t spent much time watching baseball. He did, however, attend Wayne Gretzky’s fantasy hockey camp, and he has three young children. “A lot of guys I talked to said, ‘Listen, you have to find things to do,'” says Konerko. “When you go home, they said, ‘You can only play so much golf.’ I definitely have a lot of stuff going on to keep me sharp.” Here’s more from the American League.

  • Of all the players who left the Blue Jays last winter, the one who would have helped the team the most is, improbably, J.A. Happ, Brendan Kennedy of TheStar.com writes. The Jays’ rotation has struggled this season, while Happ has produced a 3.61 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for the Mariners. Happ had frequently been little more than a contingency plan in Toronto. “They must have felt like they had better options,” says Happ. “I just tried to take advantage of the opportunities when I got them, but I was definitely trying to fight for my cause.”
  • The Red Sox should at least consider firing John Farrell, writes Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. Since winning a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013, Farrell has a .441 winning percentage as manager, and this year’s team is filled with expensive but struggling veterans. Nonetheless, the AL East hasn’t been a strong division this year, and the Red Sox could still win it. Smith suggests that might be difficult, though, if the Red Sox don’t dramatically improve or make changes.

Red Sox Extend John Farrell

The Red Sox have announced that they’ve extended manager John Farrell through the 2017 season with an option for 2018. The deal adds one year plus an option to Farrell’s current deal, which continues through 2015 with a team option for 2016.

Farrell replaced Bobby Valentine following the 2012 season and led the Red Sox to a World Series win the following season, winning the Sporting News AL Manager of the Year award and finishing second in BBWAA AL Manager of the Year voting. Last season, the Red Sox fell to last place, and Farrell now owns a 168-156 record in two years with the team. Farrell also led the Blue Jays to a 154-170 record as their manager during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.


Quick Hits: Farrell, Victorino, Delabar, Dodgers, Young

The Red Sox have held preliminary discussions with manager John Farrell about a contract extension, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports. Farrell’s deal is only guaranteed through 2015, though it comes with an additional club option as well. Boston hopes to “add length and security” in a new deal, per the report.

Here are some more items from around the game:

  • Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino sat down with WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford to discuss his recovery from back surgery, telling Bradford that he feels 100 percent and is as motivated as he’s ever been heading into Spring Training. Victorino disagrees with the notion that there’s a “competition” between himself and Mookie Betts, saying that, rather, he views it as two athletes pushing each other to be better. “I’ve been a big advocate of Mookie since Day 1,” said Victorino. “I learned from Day 1 that he’s a kid that wants to learn. My first day in my rehab assignment in Pawtucket, 15 minutes before the game he’s asking me questions in the most respectful way. From Day 1 I’ve been a big fan of that kid.”
  • Right-hander Steve Delabar was disappointed not to be called up in September by the Blue Jays last year, writes John Lott of the National Post. The team felt that Delabar, a 2013 All-Star who battled knee injuries throughout the 2014 season, needed to rest. Those knee issues, coupled with a 2013 shoulder injury that prevented Delabar from fully engaging in his offseason weighted-ball program, contributed to a rough year in 2014, Lott writes. Delabar will be competing for one of three bullpen spots, and the fact that he has minor league options remaining could work against him if he isn’t sharp this spring.
  • The Rays were excellent at unearthing quality relievers while under the leadership of now-Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney notes (Insider link). Friedman will face an immediate challenge in finding a replacement for outstanding closer Kenley Jansen, at least for the season’s early going. The market still contains some notable arms — free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano, as well as trade candidate Jonathan Papelbon — but in some respects their availability only increases the stakes of getting the decision right. There are several possibilities for filling the closer role and the open pen slot, including a few recent acquisitions as well as younger arms (Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia) who got a taste of the bigs last year and have impressed the new front office.
  • MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently endeavored to identify potential landing spots for free agent righty Chris Young, and Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs contributes his own analysis on where Young’s notably flyball-prone propensities would best fit. Steve’s market analysis and Sullivan’s fit assessment concur in identifying the Rays as a match.


Red Sox Notes: Sandoval, Lester, Farrell, Bradley

Here’s the latest on the Red Sox:

  • An executive with another team says that Boston is “all-in” on third baseman Pablo Sandoval, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN.com. GM Ben Cherington discussed the team’s interest with reporters today. “We’ve met with several [agents], including [Vasquez], and had good constructive conversations with a lot of guys already,” he said. “All those conversations will continue. I don’t expect anything to happen this week, or maybe in the near term. This may play out. I expect many [conversations] to continue over the next few weeks.”
  • Cherington says that the Red Sox have no hard and fast rule against giving long-term deals to slightly older starting pitchers, Edes reports. “It’s never been a hard policy,” he said. “We’ve made exceptions, and I’m sure there will be another exception. It’s a case-by-case thing.” As for Lester, specifically, Cherington said that he is “interested in having a conversation with him” and has some added comfort level given the team’s familiarity with Lester. “We need to add to our rotation,” Cherington added. “He’s obviously a known commodity, a proven guy in our market. He’s of obvious interest.” Both Cherington and fellow GM Jed Hoyer of the Cubs foresee a slow-developing market for starters, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Sox are open to discussing a contract extension with manager John Farrell before the start of the year, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. As things stand, Farrell is under contract for 2015 with the club holding an option for another year.
  • Boston still sees Jackie Bradley Jr. as a future everyday center fielder, Cherington tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. After a productive season in the field and sub-par campaign at the plate, the 24-year-old has perhaps lost some of his luster, though that could be in part due to expectations that raised wildly last spring. “I do think there are some teams that think of him that way — as they should,” Cherington said. “We think of him that way. We don’t know on what date that will happen, but we certainly still think of him that way — as an everyday-caliber center fielder.”

Managerial Notes: Marlins, Farrell, Rockies

John Farrell met with the Boston media today, two days after the official completion of the long-awaited deal between the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Farrell explained that he intends to be more passionate in recommending player moves, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter links). Farrell added that Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos were understanding about his desire to leave Toronto for Boston. Here are some more managerial links from around MLB…

  • Mike Redmond appears to be a strong frontrunner for the Marlins job while Bryan Price is also in the mix, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.  Redmond currently manages the Blue Jays' Class A-Advanced affiliate in Dunedin, Florida.
  • Former Rockies, Dodgers and Pirates manager Jim Tracy and former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta are entrants in the managerial sweepstakes in Toronto, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports. Tracy, Acta, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Don Wakamatsu are among the leading candidates for the Blue Jays position, Elliott writes.
  • Former Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo will become Boston's bench coach, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Lovullo has experience managing the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox.
  • The Rockies will start interviewing outside managerial candidates in the coming days, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (Twitter links). Jason Giambi, one of the candidates in Colorado, was very impressive in his interview, and bench coach Tom Runnells has also interviewed for the position.
  • The Cubs named David Bell their third base coach and named James Rowson their permanent hitting coach.

Latest On Red Sox Managerial Search

The Red Sox have begun talks with the Blue Jays in an effort to work out compensation for manager John Farrell, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter).  General Manager Ben Cherington is set to meet with Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale tomorrow but there is currently nobody scheduled to interview after that.

Boston has long been linked to Farrell but the skipper said in an interview late last week that he is happy in Toronto and has yet to speak with Cherington & Co. regarding their vacancy.  Meanwhile, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulous has said repeatedly that the club's policy precludes personnel from leaving for a lateral move.  While Farrell is said to be at or near the top of the Red Sox's list, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach have also been linked to the position.


AL East Notes: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees

Links from the AL East, before the Orioles and Yankees play for the right to face off against the Tigers in the ALCS…

  • Red Sox owner John Henry is seeking a minority owner for Fenway Sports Group, Charlie Gasparino and Matt Egan of the FOX Business Network report. Henry appears to be entertaining the idea of establishing a limited partnership in the holding company, according to the FOX reporters. 
  • The Red Sox denied the report, saying it contains “absolutely no truth,” according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. The Red Sox made a similar statement last month when Gasparino reported Henry had started shopping the team.
  • Blue Jays manager John Farrell told Jody McDonald on MLB Network Radio that rumors about interest from the Red Sox haven't distracted him from his job in Toronto. "I'm extremely challenged, happy as manager of the Blue Jays," Farrell said, adding that he hasn't been in touch with the Red Sox or heard of talks between GM Alex Anthopoulos and his counterpart in Boston, Ben Cherington.
  • A number of high-profile pitchers who were traded last offseason are now making an impact in the postseason, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes. Trades involving pitchers such as Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos will prompt teams like the Blue Jays to weigh the value of depth against the value of certainty as they contemplate their own moves for the offseason ahead.
  • Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal explains that while money can't buy championships, it can help teams like the Yankees build deep benches. Aging stars like Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez are luxuries the Yankees can afford, and the depth is paying off this October.

Managerial Notes: Leyland, Rockies, Indians, Red Sox

Earlier today, we ran down the latest managerial news including word that Rangers skipper Ron Washington's job is safe despite the club's disappointing finish.  Here's the latest on vacancies from around the major leagues..

  • While the Tigers and manager Jim Leyland will address his contract situation at the end of the year, the skipper confirmed today that he wants to continue managing, writes Jason Beck of MLB.com.
  • Rockies senior vice president Bill Geivett told Jim Bowden (via Twitter) on MLB Network Radio that both bench coach Tom Runnells and Triple-A manager Stu Cole are internal candidates for their managerial job. 
  • As of now, former Astros skipper Brad Mills is not joining the Indians staff under Terry Francona, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Mills served as Francona's bench coach while with the Red Sox.
  • Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington declined to comment when asked if he has requested permission to interview candidates from other clubs, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.  Of course, there has been wide speculation that the Red Sox are interested in Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
  • Mike Lowell told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he would want to know the "ins and outs" of an organization before taking on the role of manager.  Yesterday, Lowell told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that he's not looking to become a big league manager at this point in time despite being linked to the Marlins job.

Managerial Notes: Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies

Managers are in the spotlight more than ever in October, since in-game decisions are heavily scrutinized throughout the postseason and it’s a busy month for hirings and firings. The latest…

  • Though there’s a lot of self-evaluation going on in Texas following the Rangers’ disappointing finish, manager Ron Washington will return in 2013, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Washington’s current contract covers the 2013-14 seasons.
  • Candidates such as Tim Wallach, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Brad Ausmus would surely come up if the Rockies look outside of the organization for potential managers, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports (on Twitter). Jim Tracy resigned as the team's manager two days ago.
  • The Red Sox will start their search for a new manager in earnest in the next few days, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Boston will start by asking the Blue Jays for permission to speak with John Farrell, Olney reports. Ausmus could be a candidate in Boston, too.
  • Bobby Valentine may have been paid not to criticize the Red Sox following his dismissal, rival officials suggested to Olney. Such financial incentives are not uncommon, according to Olney.
  • In case you missed it, Ozzie Guillen's future with the Marlins remains unclear.

AL East Notes: MacPhail, Cano, Rays, Blue Jays

Bobby Valentine has officially been dismissed, which means the Red Sox will embark on their second managerial search in as many years. GM Ben Cherington has said he hopes to conclude the search earlier this time. Here are some notes on Boston’s division rivals…

  • Former Orioles president Andy MacPhail told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he's happy for the team’s fans, players and executives. He acknowledged that it "would have been a lot of fun" to be present for Baltimore's playoff run, but said he doesn't regret stepping down to spend time with his family. MacPhail said he's starting to think about working in baseball again and noted that, at 59 years old, he's "way too young" to do nothing. "I think there are a variety of things that would interest me," he told Connolly.
  • MacPhail noted that Dan Duquette has done an excellent job of finding starting pitching depth this year.
  • Executives suggest an extension for Robinson Cano could cost the Yankees $200MM, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan writes. The second baseman says he hasn’t “thought about anything," but the Yankees can’t allow him to hit free agency in Passan’s view. New York will exercise its $15MM option for Cano after the season, delaying his free agency until the end of the 2013 season.
  • Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said he's "not going to be flippant" about Tampa Bay's impressive pitching depth this coming offseason, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Friedman also said he expects to talk with Larry Reynolds, the agent for B.J. Upton, even though the sides aren't expected to agree to a new contract.
  • Mike Axisa rounded up the latest Red Sox-related rumors earlier today. Here's one more note from Boston: the Blue Jays would want “a decent player” in a deal for manager John Farrell, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.