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.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.