The circus of a sideshow that has plagued the Blue Jays as of late has finally come to an end.
Source: #redsox agree to hire Farrell through 2015. Compensation will be announced in next couple days, but deal w/Farrell done.
– Alex Speier @alexspeier
Source: Mike Aviles slated to be headed to Blue Jays as compensation for Farrell.
– Rob Bradford @bradfo
Update (2:30PM) : John Farrell traded to the Red Sox with David Carpenter in exchange for Mike Aviles. It’s an interesting move that more than likely will invoke further trade speculation for the Jays. Aviles is a defensive-minded shortstop/2nd Baseman utility player, and with Kelly Johnson more than likely leaving the Jays for another team in free agency this winter, the move may be set to make Aviles a placeholder for future improvement. Aviles’ OPS this year was .663, while Kelly Johnson had only a slight improvement at .678.
John Farrell has been on the radar of the Boston Red Sox front office and related media for quite some time now. Alex Anthopoulos denied an attempt in the 2011 offseason for Red Sox management to speak to Farrell after Terry Francona was fired. They thought Farrell’s familiarity with the Red Sox organization would do well for them, as he was their pitching coach from 2007 to 2010. Knowing full well that Bobby Valentine would never receive the full respect of the players and fellow coaching staffers during a tumultuous 2012 Red Sox season, rumours about Farrell started to swirl again around early August, after the Jays began to dip below a .500 record. Those rumours never went away, only intensifying when Valentine was fired after the season was over. Despite the fact that Alex Anthopoulos previously stated that Farrell would not be traded, and Farrell himself stating his allegiance to the Blue Jays, he has been moved to a divisional rival. Over the coming days, we will see the full ramifications of the transaction, specifically if other coaches on the coaching staff follow suit to Boston.
The knee jerk reaction that most fans will have is: “That’s it?” Many people had high expectations of what the Jays were to receive. Buchholz, Doubront, Bard and De Jesus were just some names thought of coming to Toronto. Trading for a manager is not a common occurrence in the MLB. Although Ozzie Guillén was traded last offseason to the Marlins, only 4 transactions for managers have been made in MLB history, prior to the Farrell swap. The precedent for compensation has not been as amazing as fans might have thought for players in exchange for managers.
What some need to realize is that getting anything useful for a manager that doesn’t want to be in Toronto is a plus for the Jays organization. It allows Rogers to begin a search for a new manager, one that they won’t have to give up a player or a prospect for. It provides the Jays with depth at the middle infield positions in a player that hit 13 home runs last year and has an excellent glove, with Aviles ranking in the Top 10 in MLB in UZR/150 at the shortstop position this past year. Most importantly, it puts this whole debacle in the past.
If the Blue Jays are to make it to the postseason anytime soon, they will have to improve their ball club with a number of transactions, not just one bench player. Trading Farrell is just the first transaction of what should be many that Alex Anthopoulos is to make in the offseason. While it’s not an amazing move, we won’t be able to fully judge the depth of the trade until we see the entirety of the 2013 Blue Jays roster. If the quality of these transactions don’t improve, however, it’s going to be a long 2013 baseball season ahead for Blue Jays fans.