Commentary

Door open for John Farrell to Boston?

Updated: October 25, 2011, 10:17 AM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Even though the Boston Red Sox will officially announce on Tuesday that Ben Cherington will be the club's next general manager, it's a safe bet that Theo Epstein's successor has already begun to put together his own blueprint for the team.

[+] EnlargeJohn Farrell
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastBefore he left to manage the Blue Jays, John Farrell seemed to be Terry Francona's heir apparent.

Cherington's first order of business will be to find a manager to replace Terry Francona. Long before Francona left the organization, it was thought that former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell would be Francona's replacement whenever the job opened up. That is until Farrell was named manager of the Toronto Blue Jays prior to last season.

Among the many candidates for the position, Farrell certainly would be an intriguing option. While some league sources say they would be surprised if the Blue Jays allow the Red Sox to speak with Farrell, who has two years left on his contract with the Jays, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos left the door open.

"Selfishly, I don't want any of our guys to leave, but at the same time I hope all of our employees have opportunities to better themselves, whether it's responsibilities, financial, whatever it might be," Anthopoulos told sportsnet.ca over the weekend.

The Blue Jays' policy does allow employees to walk, even for a lateral move to another organization, according to a league source, which is different from most clubs.

At this point the Red Sox have not contacted the Blue Jays regarding Farrell, who was reportedly in Boston on Monday with his 21-year-old son Luke, who is undergoing treatment for the removal of a recurring tumor on the back of his skull.

According to another league source, if the Sox were interested in Farrell they probably would wait until Cherington is formally introduced on Tuesday to make contact.

It's no secret in professional sports, especially in baseball, that there's a fraternity among close friends and colleagues who trust each other both personally and professionally. It's not uncommon for baseball personnel to follow mentors or bosses to other organizations.

Cherington is no different.

It's expected current Red Sox vice president of player development and amateur scouting, Mike Hazen, will be named assistant GM under Cherington. The career paths of Hazen and Cherington through the Red Sox's organization are similar.

Both began their baseball operation careers with the Cleveland Indians, even though they never worked together for that organization. However, Hazen did work closely with Farrell in the Indians' minor league baseball operations department, along with current Blue Jays first-base coach Torey Lovullo, before all three landed with the Red Sox.

Lovullo spent one season as the manager of Triple-A Pawtucket before Farrell made him a member of his staff in Toronto. If Farrell remains with the Blue Jays, there's a chance Lovullo will draw the attention of Cherington and Hazen for the managing job in Boston.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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