Is John Farrell really a viable option for Red Sox manager?

In today’s Sunday edition of the Boston Globe Senior Baseball Writer Nick Cafardo floated the possibility that John Farrell might be #1 on the Red Sox list of managerial candidates to replace Terry Francona.  (Article –Farrell was seen as Sox manager, and still could be)  This would be nothing new as Farrell was likely the internal heir apparent to Francona since he was named pitching coach before the 2007 season.  There is just one problem – John Farrell was hired just last year by the Toronto Blue Jays to be their new manager.  The whole thing seems like a non-starter right?  Maybe not.

Of course there are two ultimate determining factors – would John Farrell want the job and if he did would the Blue Jays see fit to let him go to a divisional rival.

Let’s tackle the first point – would Farrell want to come back to take the head job?  Well, I’m sure there were many times in the four seasons that Francona and Farrell were coaching together that Tito felt worn down and questioned if he wanted to continue as Sox manager, between his health and the pressures of managing in Boston.  Clearly Farrell has been in the position to think about whether or not he wanted to be the Red Sox Manager before.  Further Farrell is close to the current Red Sox pitching staff, now dubious for their clubhouse antics.  He is particularly close to Jon Lester and Clay Bucholz, whom he mentored through their early years with the Red Sox.  Of course more than a few people have opined in the last few weeks that the antics that may or may not have been the undoing of the Red Sox season would not have happened if Farrell was still a clubhouse influence for the Red Sox.  One last point, and I almost hate to go here, but you have to mention the strains of travel and other inconveniences when you are an American working for a company overseas, especially when heavy travel is involved.

Now why would the Blue Jays have the motivation to let John Farrell go to the Red Sox?  Well, you’ve got to admit there is not much motivation there but there is always compensation.  You never get something for nothing and in this case the Red Sox would have to give the Blue Jays compensation in the form of players.  It could be for the usual prospects but remember Lou Piniella was essentially traded from the Mariners to the Rays for former all-star Randy Winn.  Could Kevin Youkilis be a piece they could use to pry Farrell away from the Blue Jays without giving up the farm?  Also, if Farrell shows serious interest in the Red Sox job, why keep someone who may not want to be there?  This may be the biggest factor as it is sometimes more embarrassing if a guy talks to another team or wants to talk to another team and you refuse.  Also the Jays already have former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu as well as Blue Jays mainstay Brian Butterfield ready to take over so the move may not sting as much as it could otherwise.

Obviously the factor that I haven’t mentioned is if the Red Sox really wanted him back.  The answer to that is yes, without a doubt, unquestionably, absolutely.  In a two month period of worst-case scenario after worst-case scenario when the best-case scenario suddenly presents itself you must take advantage of it.  Will it happen?  Maybe not.  Can it happen?  Only a quick look at what’s gone on in the last two months in baseball would tell you that anything can happen.

Twitter @ErikVenskus

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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