John Farrell was officially named manager of the Blue Jays today. For Terry Francona, it was a reason to celebrate.
“Yes, it’s a loss for us but we’re happy for John and Sue and their opportunity,” he said. “John’s a star and he deserves this. We’ve been saying since the day we hired him that we were going to lose him. Being excited for him outweighs our loss.”
It certainly speaks well of the Red Sox — and Francona — that two of his coaches have been hired as managers in the last year. Brad Mills went to the Astros after the 2009 season.
“I think we hire good people,” Francona said. “You want to do that. Sure, it would be great if everybody stayed around. But when you hire good people, they get noticed.”
Theo Epstein was in Arizona over the weekend watching the prospects there. Once he gets back, he and Francona will start interviews.
“We have a few internal candidates we want to talk to and I’m sure there will be some external ones, too,” he said. “We need to do this right and get the best person. It’s a big job.”
Francona said it was not necessarily important that he know the next coach well. But he admitted that it helps.
“You would like to know what somebody is about and how they work,” he said. “But I think I know most of the people in the game. Obviously we’ve been talking about it and we’re going to get the process going this week.”
Given how pervasive Farrell’s influence was throughout the organization, it would seem that internal candidates would have an edge. That could help somebody like Mike Cather, a scout who previously was Class AA Portland’s pitching coach.
Meanwhile, in New York, the Yankees fired pitching coach Dave Eiland today. He missed a month of the season for personal reasons and the indication today was that led to his dismissal.
The Yankees tend to look internally for coaches, so it would be a surprise if they fight with the Red Sox over a candidate.
In Philadelphia, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he wanted to bring Jayson Werth back. But when you read this transcript, it sounds unlikely.
UPDATE, 5:15 p.m.: This is interesting. Oakland pitching coach Curt Young rejected a contract extension to pursue other opportunities. Initial reports had him going to Arizona. But now the Diamondbacks are about to hire Charles Nagy.
Young is well-regarded as a coach and has a little history with Terry Francona.
In 2003 Francona was the bench coach in Oakland. Young was a minor-league coach at the time.
Other external candidates could be Orioles coach Rick Kranitz or Baltimore Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin, a former Red Sox coach.