Lucchino on negotiations: 'Sweet reasonableness reared its lovely head'

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Lucchino on negotiations: 'Sweet reasonableness reared its lovely head'

BOSTON When the Red Sox announced the hiring on Sunday of John Farrell as the new manager, it appeared the Sox got the guy they had been planning on all along, going back to last offseason when they attempted to pry him from the Blue Jays after Terry Francona was fired.

It also appeared that the interviews granted to Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Yankees bench coach, and Orioles third base coach and former Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale were little more than going through the motions.

Not so, said Sox presidentCEO Larry Lucchino, who was largely responsible for the negotiations with the Blue Jays that extricated Farrell from Toronto with one year remaining on his contract. Lucchino, who dealt with Paul Beeston, his Toronto counterpart and good friend, said he was not completely confident throughout the process of negations, which began around Oct. 10, that the deal would get done.

And thats why the suggestion that somehow we were making a mistake in bringing in other people to interview is I think unfounded, Lucchino said. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether this thing could be done. And we had to prepare for Plan B.

What prevailed?

I dont know, he said. I like to think it was sweet reasonableness that somehow reared its lovely head in the middle of the process. On both parts.

Still, it was a complicated process.

We had plenty of conversations, Lucchino said. You got to understand, Beeston and I are very good friends. So we can spend a lot of time talking about the War of 1812, or the American presidential campaigns, and other gossip in baseball, and we do that a lot. This time it was certainly primarily focused on the business at hand. And Paul was very strong and assertive about the interest in his team. If they were going to release someone from their contract, which he felt had a high degree of importance, they needed someone of quality in return.

So it was really plenty of talk about the principals but it was also about the standard to be applied to this transaction. And then Sox general manager Ben Cherington and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos were part and parcel to that discussion a lot of the times and oftentimes were asked to focus on certain players.

But in general, I would say it was amicable, it was honest, and it proved to be productive, I think, for both teams.

Last year, when the Sox attempted to get Farrell in the managerial search that led to Bobby Valentine on Dec. 1, the Blue Jays asked for right-hander Clay Buchholz in return. That request abruptly stopped talks between the Sox and Jays. This year, with just a year left on his contract with Toronto, the Jays reigned in their requests somewhat, getting infielder Mike Aviles in return.

Lets just say that they made substantial demands on us throughout the process and it had to evolve over time for us to find the right combination of consideration, Lucchino said. Because absolutely they deserve consideration and they got it in our last years starting shortstop. Its a far cry from what the process we went through last year with respect to our general manager.

I would have to say yes there was a different tenor and I think part of it was because of the existing relationships that go back a few decades in baseball between us and the Blue Jays and Paul Beeston.

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”