Cafardo: John Farrell Red Sox' "First Choice" To Replace Bobby Valentine

BOSTON: John Lackey #40 of the Boston Red Sox talks with former pitching coach John Farrell #52 at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Bobby Valentine is still Boston's manager, and still has a year left on his contract, but there's only way one that this particular relationship is going to end, and that's with Valentine relieved of his duties. Because of this, expect to see rumors about just who will be Boston's new manager. While the John Farrell word has been out there since last winter, it's not about to go away anytime soon. Nick Cafardo:

John Farrell was the Red Sox' top choice to manage after they fired Terry Francona last October, and every indication this reporter has received from team and major league sources is that he will be their first choice to replace Bobby Valentine.

Cafardo mentions the obvious: compensation will be the issue. But, now that Farrell has been in Toronto for two years rather than one, Blue Jays' ownership might be more willing to let him part since it won't feel like Farrell came to Toronto just for a year in order to be groomed for the job of a division rival.

There's the argument that Boston shouldn't want Farrell, as he hasn't been a particularly good manager while with the Blue Jays, but if the clubhouse likes him, and will listen to him because they respect him, then, given this year's circus, maybe that's enough to merit having him around. If the good players play well, it doesn't quite matter who is pulling the strings. Ask Terry Francona, who was a master more of the clubhouse than the lineup card, about that one.

It's not a simple situation, given the compensation Toronto would want could very well be significant, and if that's the case, Farrell likely won't be with the Sox. It also doesn't help that the Jays no longer allow members of their organization under contract to leave without receiving a promotion -- what exactly would Farrell have to be in Boston, in order to make the move, when he's already a manager? Compensation and negotiation could work around this, but again, compensation is already a sticking point.

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