Jays set to name Farrell

Sox pitching coach gets 1st managing job

By Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / October 23, 2010

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John Farrell, the Red Sox’ pitching coach since 2007, is about to be named manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Multiple major league sources said last night that Farrell was Toronto’s choice to replace Cito Gaston and was in the process of negotiating a contract. The Blue Jays will make the announcement before the start of the World Series on Wednesday.

Farrell, 48, has never managed at any level. But the Blue Jays, who are building their team around the talents of young starting pitchers Brett Cecil, Brandon Morrow, and Ricky Romero, see Farrell as the perfect fit.

Farrell could not be reached for comment.

It is a significant loss for the Red Sox, as Farrell played a key role in developing Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester into All-Star starters and had a close relationship with Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. He also was widely viewed as the heir apparent to manager Terry Francona.

Until its recent expiration, Farrell had a clause in his contract that allowed the Sox to deny him managerial opportunities. General manager Theo Epstein has often referred to Farrell as a “core member’’ of the organization. Beyond his duties with the major league pitchers, Farrell had influence on the draft and how pitchers were developed in the minor leagues.

One possible replacement is Mike Cather, a major league advance scout who was the pitching coach of Double A Portland from 2007-09 and handled several of the pitchers now on the major league roster. He joined the Sox in 2006 and has worked closely with Farrell.

The Sox lost bench coach Brad Mills a year ago when he became Houston’s manager. Mills led the rebuilding Astros to 76 victories and was given a contract extension. His success likely helped Farrell’s candidacy to some degree.

Toronto considered a wide assortment of candidates before narrowing the field to Farrell, Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale, Indians coach Sandy Alomar Jr., and Blue Jays coach Brian Butterfield.

Sources said Hale, Alomar, and Butterfield have been informed by general manager Alex Anthopoulos that Farrell was the choice.

Once Farrell is named Toronto’s manager, he could look to the Red Sox organization for assistant coaches. Torey Lovullo, the manager of Triple A Pawtucket, worked with Farrell in the Cleveland organization.

Hale is not guaranteed to return to the Sox, either. He could emerge as a managerial candidate for the Milwaukee Brewers or Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Red Sox do appear likely to retain Allard Baird, one of Epstein’s top assistants.

The Mets announced yesterday that they were no longer considering Baird to replace Omar Minaya as GM.

Major League Baseball executive Sandy Alderson and former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes are the final two candidates in New York.

The 48-year-old Baird joined the Red Sox in 2006 after spending six seasons as the GM of the Kansas City Royals.

He oversees professional scouting. Byrnes was an assistant GM with the Sox before taking the Arizona job in 2005.

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