By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox hired John Farrell to be their
new manager on Sunday, obtaining their former pitching coach from
the Blue Jays in a trade for infielder Mike Aviles.
Farrell had been the Toronto manager the past two seasons,
posting a 154-170 record with two fourth-place finishes. He had one
year remaining on his contract with the Blue Jays, allowing them to
demand compensation from Boston.
“I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to
Boston,” Farrell said in a statement released by the Red Sox. “I
love this organization. It’s a great franchise in a special city
and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to
reward their faith in us.”
It’s the second time the Red Sox have pursued Farrell for their
managerial job, closing the deal this time by working out a rare
but not unprecedented trade for an active manager. Boston will give
up Aviles, who hit .250 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs last season, and
get right-hander David Carpenter in return.
It is the seventh time in major league history that one team has
traded for a manager while he was under contract to another, the
Red Sox said. Last year, the Miami Marlins obtained Ozzie Guillen
from the Chicago White Sox in a deal that also included three
Farrell received a three-year deal in Boston, which also
interviewed San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, New
York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers third base
coach Tim Wallach and Baltimore Orioles third base coach DeMarlo
“We met some outstanding managerial candidates in this
process,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said in the statement.
“John Farrell brings a unique blend of managerial experience,
leadership and presence, pitching expertise, front office
experience, and an established track record with many members of
our uniformed staff and members of our front office. He will hit
the ground running.”
The pitching coach in Boston for four years, Farrell was the
heir apparent to Terry Francona before going to Toronto two seasons
ago when it seemed like Francona would be sticking around
long-term. When Francona was let go after an unprecedented collapse
in September of 2011, the Red Sox tried to pry Farrell loose from
the Blue Jays.
But Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos asked for a top
player in return for Farrell, who had been there only one season
and gone 81-81.
So the Red Sox turned to Bobby Valentine to bring discipline to
a clubhouse in which players drank beer and ate fried chicken in
the clubhouse during games. But the former New York Mets and
Japanese Leagues manager alienated so many players that the team
was forced to bail out on the season, trading away Carl Crawford,
Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez in August to save more than $250
million in future salaries.
Valentine was fired after finishing in last place with a 69-93
record– four games behind Toronto and the ballclub’s worst record
since 1965. General manager Ben Cherington was back in the market
for a manager, and this time he didn’t need a hard-line
“The team is in a different point than it was last year when we
hired Bobby,” Cherington said after firing Valentine. “The roster
was fairly mature and we felt, mistakenly in retrospect, but we
felt at the time, that we had a chance to win and the team was
ready to win. We’re now at a different point.”
Farrell, 50, had a promising pitching career with the Cleveland
Indians before an injury kept him out for the entire 1991 and `92
seasons. He returned to pitch sparingly in four more seasons,
finishing his career with a 36-46 record and a 4.56 ERA.
He coached at Oklahoma State, where he pitched in college, from
1997-2001 and then spent five years in the Indians’ front office
before Francona, a former Cleveland teammate, brought him to Boston
as pitching coach. Under Farrell’s guidance from 2007-10, Red Sox
pitchers held opponents to an AL-low .254 batting average and led
the league with in 4,771 strikeouts.
Farrell is familiar with Red Sox management from his time in
Boston and has worked with many of the club’s pitchers _ including
starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, who were All-Stars under his
“His broad set of experiences, and exceptional leadership
skills, make him the ideal person to lead our team,” Cherington
said in the news release. “I have known him in various capacities
throughout my career, and I hold him in the highest regard as a
baseball man and as a person.”
Aviles, 31, is a career .277 hitter who played 136 games for the
Red Sox in 2012, mostly at shortstop.
Carpenter, 27, is 1-5 with one save and a 5.70 ERA over 67
career relief appearances with the Astros and Blue Jays. He
appeared in 33 games in 2012, 30 with the Astros before being sent
to the Blue Jays in a 10-player trade on July 20; he also made 23
minor-league appearances last season.
Originally a catcher, Carpenter converted to pitching in 2008.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)