Brian Butterfield was a well-respected and long-tenured coach of the Toronto Blue Jays until Tuesday, when the Boston Red Sox hired him to be their new third base coach under manager John Farrell. That's good news for Butterfield, who doesn't have to worry about being retained when a new manager is hired in Toronto. But it's not good news for the Red Sox, should Butterfield himself be that replacement up north.
According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, Butterfield remains a candidate for the manager position in Toronto. The club interviewed him back in 2010, before settling on Farrell, and he's been with the organization since 2002. Just like with the Sox letting Farrell go a couple of years ago, it's understandable that Butterfield would be allowed out of his brand new contract if the Jays planned to make him their field general:
"Yes, it's a rare opportunity, and we would certainly not block that," said Farrell when asked if, as far as he knew, Butterfield was still in the mix for the Jays' job. "But at the same time we're extremely excited about Brian joining us."
It sounds like Boston and Farrell are banking on Butterfield not getting the job, or at least making sure that they are the ones who have him aboard should he not be named manager in Toronto. If he is, then it's still early in the off-season: Farrell can either handpick another third base coach from outside of the organization, or retain Boston's from 2012, Jerry Royster. If Butterfield doesn't get the gig, then Boston has their third base coach (and infield instructor) already under contract.
Butterfield is one of many candidates that the Blue Jays and general manager Alex Anthopoulos are looking at for the job. Cleveland's bench coach Sandy Alomar and Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams are potential hires, and two coaches Boston interviewed, Tim Wallach and DeMarlo Hale, are also up for the job. Toronto has already dismissed the idea of another Boston interviewee, San Diego Padres' assistant to the GM Brad Ausmus, as their manager.