The Boston Red Sox today announced that they have acquired Manager John Farrell from the Toronto Blue Jays and agreed to a three-year contract that will run through 2015. As compensation to the Blue Jays, to whom Farrell was under contract through 2013, the Red Sox sent shortstop Mike Aviles and received in return right-handed pitcher David Carpenter. The Red Sox sought and received permission from Toronto to talk directly to Farrell and made the agreement late last night. The transaction was agreed upon by both clubs, and was contingent upon the Red Sox reaching an agreement with Farrell for their managerial position.
Farrell, 50, was the Red Sox’ pitching coach from 2007-10, a period in which the staff held opponents to an American League-low .254 batting average and led the league in strikeouts (4,771). Farrell is the seventh manager in major league history acquired by one club while under contract to another.
“I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston,” said Farrell. “I love this organization. It’s a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us.”
“We are thrilled to name John Farrell as our new manager,” said Executive Vice-President/General Manager Ben Cherington, who made the announcement. “John has been a major league pitcher, front office executive, coach, and manager. His broad set of experiences, and exceptional leadership skills, make him the ideal person to lead our team. I have known him in various capacities throughout my career, and I hold him in the highest regard as a baseball man and as a person.”
Under Farrell, the Blue Jays finished 81-81 (.500) in 2011 and 73-89 (.451) in 2012. Prior to joining the Red Sox in 2007, Farrell spent five years as Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians (November, 2001-November, 2006). The Indians earned “Organization of the Year” honors in 2003 and 2004 from USA Today’s Sports Weekly and were named by Baseball America as the top farm system in 2003.
“We met some outstanding managerial candidates in this process,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “John Farrell brings a unique blend of managerial experience, leadership and presence, pitching expertise, front office experience, and an established track record with many members of our uniformed staff and members of our front office. He will hit the ground running.”
When Farrell was Boston’s pitching coach, right-hander Clay Buchholz and southpaw Jon Lester were All-Stars. In his first year with the Red Sox, the club won the 2007 World Series. They reached the postseason each of his first three seasons in Boston.
Compensation to acquire a manager from another club has been required four times previously, and 52 years ago, two managers were traded for each other. In September, 2011, Miami acquired Ozzie Guillen and right-hander Ricardo Andres from the White Sox and sent right-hander Jhan Marinez and infielder Ozzie Martinez. In October, 2002, Tampa Bay acquired Lou Piniella and infielder Antonio Perez from Seattle and sent outfielder Randy Winn. In November, 1976, Pittsburgh acquired Chuck Tanner and cash from Oakland and sent catcher Manny Sanguillen. In November, 1967, the Mets acquired Gil Hodges from Washington and sent right-hander Bill Denehy and cash. During the 1960 season, managers Joe Gordon and Jimmy Dykes were swapped by Cleveland and Detroit, respectively.
In Farrell’s first year as the Red Sox’ pitching coach, the staff led the American League with a 3.87 ERA (618 ER/1,438.2 IP). Red Sox pitchers also led the AL in strikeouts with 1,185 in 2008 and 1,207 in 2010. From 2007-10, hurlers posted the third-best ERA in the league, 4.11 (2,637 ER/5,778.1 IP).
Aviles, 31, played 136 games for the Red Sox in 2012, primarily at shortstop (128 games). He hit .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI.
Carpenter, 27, has struck out 60 in 60 innings over 67 career major league games, all in relief, with the Astros (2011-12) and Blue Jays (2012). He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.70 ERA (38 ER) in his big league career.
The right-hander appeared in 33 major league games in 2012, including 30 with the Astros prior to being sent to the Blue Jays in a 10-player trade July 20. In 2012, he also pitched in 23 minor league games for Houston’s Triple-A club in Oklahoma City and Toronto’s Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, posting a 1-1 record with four saves, a 3.08 ERA (9 ER/26.1 IP), with 25 strikeouts and only seven walks in 26.1 innings.
He made his major league debut with the Astros in 2011, and was 1-3 with a 2.93 ERA (9 ER/27.2 IP) while striking out 29 in 27.2 innings in 34 outings.
Originally a catcher, Carpenter converted to pitching mid-way through the 2008 season. Since that time, he has averaged 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (215 K/202.1 IP) while compiling a 12-9 record with 53 saves and a 3.02 ERA (68 ER) in 178 career minor league games exclusively in relief.