The Red Sox have shown that faith in manager John Farrell has not wavered following a last-place finish in 2014. The team announced on Saturday they had reached an agreement with their skipper on a two-year contract extension that will keep him under contract through 2017 with a club option for the 2018 season.
"I'm pleased to announce a new contract with John, on behalf of ownership, there is no question in our mind that John is the right man to manage this team and we expect him to be here for a long time," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. "Given that he had been entering the final year of the original contract he signed here, we wanted to get something done with him prior to spring training and almost made it, first day of camp I guess.
"Clearly, we want him to be our manager here for a long time. This just gets the question out of the way going into the season and allows us to focus on baseball."
Farrell’s first season leading the Red Sox saw the team improve from a 69-win 2012 campaign under Bobby Valentine to 97 victories and an improbable 2013 World Series championship. His second year at the helm wasn’t as smooth, however, as the Sox stumbled to a 71-91 record that left them in last place in the American League East.
"I'm ecstatic to have the extension, to be able to work alongside Ben [Cherington] and Mike [Hazen] and many others in our front office," Farrell said. "This is a very special place and to be able to be here for at least the number of years that are in place we don't take for granted for one moment what the expectations are and how we have to deliver on those expectations.
"To the coaching staff we have, the dedication they have, it's a great group to work with, and particularly when you look at the roster we have in place, this is setting up to be, I think, another special year. The fact that it was handled the way it was, very low-key, which is preferred on my part. I always feel the focus should always remain on the players and that will always be the case, I'm ecstatic about this coming together."
Farrell spent the first four years of his Red Sox career as the team’s pitching coach from 2007-10, which included a World Series title in 2007. He left the team to become manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2011-12, where he went 154-170 before being hired to manage the Red Sox in October 2012.
"He’s great," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said when asked how he likes playing for Farrell. "[I’ve] been here a while. Obviously got to know him a lot when he was here as a pitching coach and then playing for him, it's been great. Obviously we won the World Series with him and then had a tough year last year, but he's always been consistent and that's all you can want -- always communicating well, and we appreciate that… me and him have a great relationship, I’m happy he’s going to be here."
Boston.com's Steve Silva contributed to this story from Fort Myers, Fla.