By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- Having finished out of the playoffs for the first time since 2006, changes on the roster are not only inevitable but warranted for the Red Sox.
But players aren't the only area in which changes are expected. The team's coaching staff could also undergo turnover as as many as three of its current members -- pitching coach John Farrell, bench coach DeMarlo Hale and third-base coach Tim Bogar -- might draw interest for vacant managerial openings.
Farrell could well be a top target for several jobs. Industry sources indicate Farrell could be on a short list of candidates to succeed Cito Gaston as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Additionally, the Seattle Mariners, who asked for permission to interview for their opening two winters ago, may again approach Farrell now that they have again in the market.
Farrell has been the Red Sox' pitching coach since 2007 and was approached by the Pittsburgh Pirates after 2007 and the Mariners following 2008. Both times, he declined to interview for the positions.
But such was the level of interest in Farrell that the Sox, fearful of losing the highly-respect Farrell, ripped up Farrell's original deal after the 2008 season to make him one of the highest-paid pitching coaches in the game.
As a condition to the deal, the Sox included a clause which prohibited Farrell from discussing jobs with other teams.
However, that clause expires with the conclusion of this season, freeing Farrell to listen to outside offers. And now that Farrell is allowed to listen to offers, the timing may be right for him take a job which interests him.
"The window doesn't stay open forever,'' said a baseball source of the interest in Farrell. "Now may be the time.''
First, though, Farrell may have to overcome some institutional prejudices about pitching coaches who traditionally have not fared well as managers. San Diego's Bud Black, whose upstart team led the National League West for much of the season before slipping in September and falling just shy of a postseason berth, may help change that perception.
Toronto would seem a logical destination, since the Jays boast a young, talented starting rotation which could benefit from Farrell's expertise. As an added bonus, Farrell has intimate knowledge of the A.L. East, having coached in the division the last four seasons.
Hale, who interviewed with Seattle after 2008, is expected to attract interest from the Milwaukee Brewers, who Monday announced they would not renew Ken Macha's contract.
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin knows Hale from their time together in the Texas organizaion.
Hale managed Texas's Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City in 2000 and '01 and Melvin later added him to the major league coaching staff, where he worked as the first base coach from 2002-05.
After four years as the Red Sox' third-base coach, Hale was promoted to bench coach after Brad Mills, who had held the position since Terry Francona became manager in 2004 left to become manager of the Houston Astros.
Bogar, who has managed at the minor-league level, has spent two seasons on the Red Sox coaching staff -- in 2009 as the first-base coach and this past season as the third-base coach.
Last offseason Bogar was interviewed by the Houston Astros, for whom he played and managed in the minor leagues, but lost out to Mills.
Bogar was overly aggressive at times at third, resulting in baserunners being thrown out at the plate. If Hale were to leave for Milwaukee or another mangerial post and Bogar remained, it's easy to imagine him being shifted to bench coach, replacing Hale in that role.