BOSTON The negotiations between the Red Sox and Blue Jays that led to John Farrell being let out of his contract in Toronto with a year left and being named as manager of the Sox was not without some controversy.
Farrell had been linked to the job since last offseason when the Sox fired Terry Francona and tried to pry Farrell from Toronto. Those attempts were quickly ended when the Blue Jays requested right-hander Clay Buchholz in return.
When the Jays visited Fenway in September, with the firing of Sox manager Bobby Valentine a virtual post-season fait accompli, Farrell was barraged with questions speculating he would be the next manager of the Sox. At the time Farrell steadfastly maintained loyalty to the Blue Jays. On Sunday, it was formally announced that Farrell would be the next Sox manager, in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles.
Some in Toronto have charged the Sox with tampering to get their man.
Well, first of all there was never any tampering this year or last year, said Sox general manager Ben Cherington. That just didnt happen. There was understandable speculation because of the history, not just with John as our pitching coach but the relationships here. So understand where the speculation came from and appreciate Torontos concern because as I said theyre trying to do what were doing. Theyre trying to get better too.
If I was in Toronto presidentCEO Paul Beeston or GM Alex Anthopoulos shoes, its not something that I would want to have to go through. But I can say definitively that those, wherever that speculation was coming from, it wasnt coming from me and the only conversation I had about the conversations were directly to, with Paul and Alex until Saturday when I got a chance to talk to John.