Unclear what Jays would want from Sox for Farrell

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Unclear what Jays would want from Sox for Farrell

DETROIT -- Even as they interviewed their fourth different candidate Thursday for their managerial opening, the Red Sox have begun preliminary talks with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding compensation should they hire John Farrell.

Farrell, who served as the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010, recently completed his second season as Toronto's manager. He has a year remaining on his contract with Toronto.

A year ago, when the Red Sox approached Blue Jays ownership for permission to speak with Farrell and were told that the Jays wanted pitcher Clay Buchholz in return. That ended talks immediately.

Farrell directed the Blue Jays to an 81-81 record in his first season managing the Jays before the team slipped backward to a 73-89 mark in 2012, four games ahead of the last-place Red Sox.

It's unclear what the Jays' demends might be this time. The fact that Farrell has one year -- and not two, as was the case last fall -- remaining on his contract may reduce the asking price.

Further, there have been reports that some friction has developed between Farrell and Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos

Lastly, the Jays may be coming to the conclusion that Farrell would prefer returning to Boston. This marks the second time in as many years that the Sox have approached the Jays about Farrell and neither time did Farrell -- while repeatedly pointing out that he remains under contract as the manager of the Blue Jays -- do anything to publicly discourage the Red Sox' interest.

One executive with another major league team speculated earlier this month that the Jays -- who, it should be pointed out, have all the leverage in these negotiations -- would ask for "significant'' compensation. The executive identified pitching prospect Matt Barnes, the Red Sox' No. 1 pick from the University of Connecticut in 2011 -- as a logical asking price.

Precdent is difficult to determine. Two of the most recent "manager trades'' in baseball resulted in widly different compensation packages.

In 2011, the Chicago White Sox allowed Ozzie Guillen to leave with a year remaining on his contract and become manager of the Florida Marlins. In return, the White Sox got two minor leaguers generally acknowledged to be two of the Marlins' Top 10 prospects.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays were able to hire Lou Piniella away from the Seattle Mariners in 200x by sending the Mariners outfielder Randy Winn -- a regular outfielder, but hardly an All-Star.

The Sox are Thursday interviewing DeMarlo Hale for their vacancy. He follows Tim Wallach (last Friday), Tony Pena (Monday) and Brad Ausmus (Wednesday) as candidates to receive interviews.

It's clear, however, that Farrell remains the favorite of the field. Moreover, both ownership and Baseball Operations would be satisfied with him, making him the lone consensus choice among the five candidates.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.