Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Associated Press
BOSTON --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 RBI 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 players.
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 Hale.
"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 GM 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 disciplinarian.
"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."
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