DETROIT - If there is a move to make, the Blue Jays should move quickly.
Terry Francona, mentioned as a possible replacement for manager John Farrell if he leaves the Jays for the Boston Red Sox, was hired Saturday to manage the Cleveland Indians.†
The Indians open next season at the Rogers Centre April 2.†
Speculation continues throughout the industry that Farrell will head to Boston. He is the Sox's No. 1 target from being the pitching coach there for four seasons. The Jays and Farrell say he isn't going anywhere and will be back for 2013, the final year of his three-year contract. †
Do the Jays extend Farrell, or trade him to the Red Sox?
The longer that there is talk and uncertainty about Farrell the more difficult it will be to find a replacement.
While one door closed with Cleveland, another may have opened.
Francona was interviewed by the Indians on Friday, a day after Sandy Alomar, Jr. was interviewed. Alomar had been the Indians interim manager after Manny Acta was fired and was a runner-up with the Jays when Farrell was hired two years ago this month.
Jays pitchers had a 4.22 ERA in 2010, Cito Gaston's final year managing. Under Farrell it climbed to 4.32 in 2011 and to 4.64 this season, a year marred by losing Brandon Morrow, Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek for a total of 51 starts, plus relievers Sergio Santos and Luis Perez.†††