On Friday, Farrell spoke on MLB Network Radio and addressed the issue by reemphasizing his current employment status.
"I am the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays," he said. "That's where I've been the last two years and that's where I currently am.
"I can tell you this," he continued. "In my conversations with [Toronto general manager] Alex [Anthopoulos], it hasn't distracted me from my job and what the commitment there is. I'm extremely challenged, happy as the manager of the Blue Jays. But its obvious that there's a vacancy to fill there and they're going about their interview process as it is."
Because Farrell is under contract with the Jays for the 2013 season, the Red Sox would likely need to offer some sort of compensation to pry the manager away. Last year, when Boston was considering Farrell for the job that eventually went to Bobby Valentine, Toronto changed a team policy to no longer allow employees to make lateral moves.
Tim Wallach interviewed yesterday and, unlike in the recent past, Sox brass did not force him to go through a press conference once the interview completed. They also haven't released any statements, as of yet, about the interview.
While the Sox have kept Wallach away from the media, up in Toronto, Farrell isn't so lucky. Farrell said everything you'd expect a man in his position to say. He is the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, he's completely focused on that task, he isn't letting himself get distracted by hypotheticals, but he does acknowledge that he may be a target.
Blue Jays fans get to hear their manager publicly state that he's completely commited to their cause. Sox fans get to read between the lines and see that he's open to coming to Boston.
Assuming the Sox settle on Farrell, they'll still have that messy compensation issue to figure out. Last time the Sox wanted Farrell, the Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz. This time, Daniel Bard's name has been bandied about. I don't know that John Farrell is worth parting with Daniel Bard, or really any player of real substance. He's a far cry from a Joe Maddon or a Jim Leyland. You can't replicate the familiarity factor Farrell brings, but you can probably find an equally-qualified manager without having to part with any assets.
Plus, what's the precedent for compensation now? Is it what the Sox set when they gave the Cubs their President of Baseball Operations in exchange for a 6-month supply of pizza and $50 gift card to Best Buy? Or is it the haul the White Sox got for giving the Marlins Ozzie Guillen and his franchise-killing side-show?
If I had to pick a manager, of the candidates we know of, to lead the Sox next year I still go with Farrell. But not if the cost is too high.
Rest of the links:
Herald - John Farrell status still a secret | Sox in desperate need of ‘plus’ rotation | Globe -Red Sox seeking limited partner, according to report | Red Sox have not contacted Hale | CSNNE - Wallach interviews for Red Sox managerial job | WEEI - More in the pipeline? Red Sox prospects Anthony Ranaudo, Kyle Stroup impress in instructional league | One who knows: Why Clay Buchholz (sort of) feels Stephen Strasburg's pain