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Red Sox News & Links: So Long, Tito

Plus: Prospects, prospects, prospects

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Francona’s career as a manager is all but over. With his health problems, he’s decided to step away from the game as the grind of a 162 game season is just too much. With the manager’s career winding down, let’s read some stories about the man at the helm for the 2004 World Series. (Pete Abraham, Boston Globe)

Sam Fuld has emerged as a candidate to take over the Red Sox baseball operations department. He currently works for the Phillies under Dave Dombrowski, and also played several years in the major leagues. He’s from the area, and might just be a great fit to take over the front office. (Darren Hartwell, NBC Sports)

At last night’s game, the Red Sox honored some prospects as internal recipients of minor league awards. Several players were in attendance. Among them were the likes of Ceddane Rafaela, David Hamilton, and Roman Anthony. While the ceremony was more for fans to have something to watch before the game kicked off, it offered the Red Sox an opportunity to reflect on how they’ve done in the talent development department in recent years. (Alex Speier, Boston Globe)

Some evaluators have described the Red Sox farm system as top-heavy and loaded with position players. For a team that hasn’t had much success in developing starting pitchers over the last decade, the Red Sox are looking for consistency in that area before they start claiming they’ve improved the system. Wikelman Gonzalez represents the next in what they hope is a long line of promising young pitchers. (Chad Jennings, The Athletic)

And lastly, another one of the players in attendance on Tuesday was Yoelin Cespedes. He’s still just 17 years old, but was the prize of the international signing class, securing himself a $1.4m signing bonus. He’s nowhere near the big league club, but he’s a name you want to keep an eye on for the future. (Mac Cerullo, Boston Herald)