ST. LOUIS - Round and round the wheel goes.
Tim Wallach, Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach.
Tony Pena, New York Yankees bench coach.
Brad Ausmus, special assistant with the San Diego Padres.
DeMarlo Hale, Baltimore Orioles third-base coach.
The Boston Red Sox have interviewed all of the above.
And yet the Red Sox managerial wheel keeps landing on the same spot: Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
The day after the season when manager Bobby Valentine was told to take a hike up the Mass Pike, ESPN listed potential replacements and Farrell was No. 1.
Now the two sides are talking on compensation.
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.
We do not believe that talks “have reached the ownership stage” as we’ve seen reported.
Red Sox owner John Henry and Tom Werner may be making/taking calls to/from Toronto but Nadir Mohamed, CEO, director and president of Rogers Communications, Inc., is not on the other end of the phone.
Discussions from the Jays end on proper compensation would involve Jays president Paul Beeston with counsel from general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
Farrell has one year remaining on his three-year deal. What is proper compensation?: The day Valentine was fired a reader e-mailed “can we get Dustin Pedroia for Farrell to replace Kelly Johnson?”
Proper compensation is in the eye of the beholder? Is it Daniel Bard (5-6, 6.22 in 17 games, 10 of them starts)? Or Clay Buchholz (11-8, 4.56 in 29 starts)?
Farrell has a 154-170 record in two years managing the Jays. Does he get a mulligan for all the injuries this year or is he an asset which can be used to help solve the thin starting pitching ranks?
A year ago, the Chicago White Sox acquired triple-A shortstop Osvaldo Martinez and double-A reliever Jhan Marinez from the Miami Marlins’ for manager Ozzie Guillen with a year remaining on his contract.
The Jays have been down this road before, hiring Cito Gaston in 1989. Lou Piniella was under contract to the New York Yankees and broadcasting games.
After doing a game in Seattle he drove to Vancouver and flew to Toronto to be interviewed.
Yanks owner George Steinbrenner asked for two of David Wells, Duane Ward and Todd Stottlemyre. The Jays declined.
And when Piniella wanted to leave the Seattle Mariners in 2002, both the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays wanted him.
Seattle asked for an outfielder, one of Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli or
Josh Hamilton before settling on Randy Winn, an all-star in 2002.
The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt Oakland A’s manager Chuck Tanner and $100,000 in cash in exchange for veteran catcher Manny Sanguillen in 1976.
The New York Mets sent right-hander Bill Denehy and cash to the Washington Senators for young Gil Hodges in 1967.
For a team that would not trade either Roy Halladay or Alex Rios to a division rival, if the Jays move Farrell, they had best not be moving him for the back-up infielder at class-A Greenville or class-A Lowell.
Who’s got next? The most qualified person on the Jays staff is bench coach Don Wakamatsu, as he has previous major-league experience managing the Seattle Mariners for 274 games (127-147). Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo was interviewed by Boston a year ago before it settling on Valentine.
The Cleveland Indians would allow Sandy Alomar Jr. out of his contract as a coach to manage the Jays. Alomar was one of the two runners-up two years ago this month when Farrell was hired, along with Hale.
Someone congratulated Beeston on his two-year contract extension and the Blue Jays president replied “thanks, but it happened two months ago. You’re late.”
NOT FOR A LONG TIME
If Farrell leaves the Jays, the teamís new manager would be the eighth since Cito Gaston was fired at the end of the 1997 season.
After Gaston, GM Gord Ash hired Tim Johnson, fired Tim Johnson, hired Jim Fregosi, fired Fregosi and then hired Buck Martinez.
GM J.P. Ricciardi fired Martinez, hired Carlos Tosca, fired Tosca, hired John Gibbons, fired Gibbons and then hired Gaston.
After Gastonís contract expired, GM Alex Anthopoulos hired Farrell. If Farrell leaves it would mean, since 1997, the average lifespan of a Jays manager is 347 games.
CBSSports.comís John Heyman reported a source claimed the Jays front office and Farrell butted heads this year, saying: ďThe people there would charter a jet to get him out.Ē
The Boston Globe reports compensation for Farrell would be a pitcher who could help the big league team and a double-A prospect.
The Red Sox could part with Chris Carpenter -- obtained from the Chicago Cubs in the deal that allowed Theo Epstein to escape Fenway Park for Wrigely Field. The player could also be somebody like right-hander Clayton Mortensen, 26, a first rounder of the Cardinals in 2007 (1-1, 3.21 ERA) or Alex Wilson, 25, (5-3, 3.72 ERA).
The second piece would be a minor leaguer like outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, 27, (.297, seven homers, 36 RBI at triple-A Pawtucket), third baseman Kolbrin Vitek, 23 (.244, one homer and 13 RBI with the rookie-class Gulf Coast League Sox, Lowell and double-A Portland), infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., 25, (.304, three homers, 33 RBI at triple-A Albuquerque and Pawtucket) or maybe even outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin, 23 (.247, two homers, 30 RBI at Pawtucket), who was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
What combination of those names will swing the balance of power in the AL East?