NEW YORK — As speculation swirls regarding the future of manager Bobby Valentine with the Red Sox, the inevitable next step is theorizing about who his replacement will be.
One name that continues to come up is Blue Jays manager John Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach.
The Sox reportedly were interested in Farrell last fall before they hired Valentine, to a point where the Jays amended team policy to prohibit employees from leaving the organization for a lateral move.
“I’m under contract here,” Farrell told reporters in Toronto Saturday. “I’m not going to talk about speculation.”
Asked if he were aware of the speculation, Farrell said, “That’s the operative word: speculation. I’m not going to comment on speculation or conjecture.”
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos drew a hard line when asked about Farrell returning to Boston.
“If there are rumors in Taiwan, if there are rumors in Japan, if there are rumors all over the world, our policy is our policy, that hasn’t changed,” he said.
Farrell is under contract through the 2013 season. But the Sox could trade for him. The Marlins obtained manager Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox in that fashion last fall.
Valentine sparred with a New York reporter when asked about assessing the worth of a manager, ducking a series of questions before offering up an interesting comment.
“As far as my job is concerned, whether I’m doing a good job, I’m not doing a good job,” he said. “I didn’t get paid to do anything other than get to the playoffs, win a lot of games, be in the thick of things right down to the end and even be in first place.
“The team I’m managing is not there. It’s simple. So my job has not been a good job if I had to assess. But that’s not what I do; that’s not my job.”
Valentine was asked how he keeps his spirits up.
“That’s a hell of a question,” he said. “I don’t know if I keep them up that well, to tell you the truth. I keep them up. I enjoy what I’m doing. I think it’s very challenging and fun.”
Valentine also was asked if the controversy regarding his status was weighing on the team.
“It’s hard to tell,” he said. “It’s my first year. Everyone tells me it’s standard operational procedure. Life in the big city . . . it’s not a big city. Provincial town.”
Doubront to DL
Lefthander Felix Doubront was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 10) with a right knee contusion, an injury that was not mentioned until Friday.
Doubront (10-6, 4.70 earned run average) was shut down earlier this month, the Sox concerned with the workload on his arm and diminishing results after a good start to the season.
The 24-year-old is in his first full season as a starter in the majors.
Infielder Mauro Gomez was called up from Triple A Pawtucket. Gomez was 9 for 30 with three doubles and three RBIs over nine games in three previous stints with the team.
Valentine said Gomez could play first base, third base, and DH.
Doubront is the 26th player to go on the disabled list this season, a team record and the most of any team going back to at least 1987. In all, the Sox have used the DL 30 times, tying the 2008 Nationals for the most DL stints in the last 25 years.
Daniel Nava, on the DL since July 29 with what the team said was a wrist injury, will join Pawtucket Sunday to start a rehabilitation assignment . . . Lefthanded reliever Rich Hill tossed a scoreless inning for Double A Portland Saturday night, the latest step on his rehabilitation from an elbow strain . . . Will Middlebrooks, who fractured his right wrist Aug. 10, has been taking ground balls during batting practice while wearing a plastic brace. Middlebrooks said his fracture does not require a cast and he is able to do some activities. The rookie third baseman is not expected to return this season . . . David Ortiz took batting practice on the field, the latest test of his strained right Achilles’ tendon. He could try some running drills Sunday.
Service for Pesky
The public visiting hours for the late Johnny Pesky will be Sunday from 2-8 p.m. at the Landergan and Richardson Funeral Home in Lynn (67 Ocean Street, Route 1A). The Red Sox are organizing a public tribute at Fenway Park that will be held at a later date. Pesky died Monday at the age of 93 . . . Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal wore a bow tie on the air that represented The Will-To-Live Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to preventing teen suicide. Former Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein started the organization in memory of his son, Will. Go to will-to-live.org for more information.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.