Is the insufferable saga of the courting of John Farrell by the Boston Red Sox finally nearing its conclusion? It sure as shit is starting to feel like it, as reports now indicate that the talks are moving well forward, and it’s getting harder and harder to see how the Jays could, at this point, pull back and continue on with Farrell, who they’re very obviously not insistent on keeping, as their manager.
As has been the case lately, it’s Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe who appears to have been first to stick his neck out:
Major League source: Sox-Jaysbeyond “preliminary” stage of compensation talks in a deal for Toronto manager John Farrell.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) October 18, 2012
In the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott writes about Cafardo’s report, explaining that “we believe, as the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo wrote, that the teams are ‘beyond preliminary stage of compensation talks for Farrell’ since the two teams have been talking for a week,” however, “we do not believe that talks “have reached the ownership stage” as we’ve seen reported.”
And Shi Davidi of Sportsnet insists that a resolution must come very soon here, and offers a few other very interesting details. He suggests that something may really be happening here, as indicated by the fact that “the fate of the Blue Jays’ coaching staff, which was supposedly being finalized two weeks ago, remains unsettled.”
He goes on to add that “there are hints that should Farrell leave, first base coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield and coach Luis Rivera would follow him out.”
Now… it entirely makes sense that Farrell would want to take some of his own coaching staff with him, but I’m rather surprised at the suggestion of Rivera and Butterfield, who both preceded Farrell as members of the organization, and not Don Wakamatsu, who Farrell essentially brought with him as bench coach.
If it’s true that any of those guys were leaving with him, it would eliminate several potential replacements for Farrell from our theoretical list– and decimate the club’s coaching staff in a way that they’d have to receive better compensation for, which one could envision as yet another stumbling block. But maybe that makes someone from outside the organization, who can bring in guys of his own from elsewhere, a better fit. Guys like Manny Acta, who Anthopoulos perhaps has a connection with from his Montreal days; Sandy Alomar Jr., whose brother Robbie is already in the organization and, y’know, beloved; DeMarlo Hale, who was also reportedly one of the finalists last time; as well as New Hampshire’s Sal Fasano.
Speaking of compensation, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has some theories, suggesting that “the compensation for Farrell will be a pitcher on the cusp of being helpful to the big league team and a Double A prospect. The Red Sox will get a non-prospect in return to make it a real trade.”
He throws out several names, none of which will please the “Pedroia or bust” crowd, or even those who think that the Jays have to “at least” get Dan Bard, but that seem reasonably realistic: Chris Carpenter (the bad one), Clay Mortensen, Alex Wilson or Zach Stewart on the big league side, and Juan Carlos Linares, Kolbrin Vitek, Ivan DeJesus Jr., or Che-Hsuan Lin as prospects.
Not exactly what you were hoping for, huh? Me either, but the fact of the matter seems to be that if the Jays are entertaining this, and very obviously not going to the same lengths they did last year to keep the fact that they’re participating in talks under wraps, it strongly suggests that they really may be ready to part with their manager.
And… whatever the compensation, if that’s how they feel, there’s not a whole lot of sense letting it go on as it stands. Frankly, as I said on today’s podcast, I’m really looking forward to seeing someone else handle the day-to-day tactical operation of this ballclub.