John Farrell is out after two seasons as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and in as manager of the Boston Red Sox.
In a not surprising parting of the ways, Farrell has walked away from the final year on his contract with the Jays to sign a long-term, three-year deal with Sox, where he will work for close friend Ben Cherington, the Sox general manager.
The story first broke on Twitter through numerous Boston reports late Saturday night.
The Blue Jays are expected to obtain infielder Mike Aviles in return and first baseman Adam Lind, or a different unproductive Jays player on a bad contract could be headed to Boston as well. Lind is owed $7 million US.
Aviles, 31, could replace free-agent second baseman Kelly Johnson. The infielder hit .250 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs with a .663 OPS in 123 starts at shortstop for Boston.
In his first five seasons in the majors, covering 427 starts with the Kansas City Royals and the Red Sox, Aviles has 116 starts at second base.
Aviles struck out 77 times in 546 plate appearances, while Johnson fanned 159 times in 581 appearances.
A text message to Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos was not returned at press time, seeking confirmation of Farrell’s departure and inquiring about the compensation the Jays would receive in exchange for letting their manager get out of the final year on his three-year contract.
Farrell came to the Jays highly touted two seasons back to replace Cito Gaston as manager but in two seasons had difficulty in establishing exactly what kind of manager and what type of style of play he wanted to established. Unfortunately, his second season in Toronto was so decimated with injuries that it was difficult to tell exactly what kind of manager Farrell was - or would become.
The Red Sox, who wanted Farrell a year ago to replace Terry Francona, hired and fired Bobby Valentine and made it clear internally after letting Valentine go that they wanted Farrell to return and take the job.
In recent days, neither Jays’ president Paul Beeston nor Anthopoulos have made themselves available to talk about the Farrell situation, even though there was considerable evidence that the Jays’ manager was looking to head to Boston.
Earlier reports that Farrell and Anthopoulos were not on the same page in their final days working together and that may have led to Farrell wanting to leave the Jays.