Red Sox manager Terry Francona knew in September that it was likely he’d be losing John Farrell from his coaching staff. But before Farrell left his position as pitching coach to become manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, Francona asked for his advice on potential replacements.
Curt Young, who was pitching coach for the Oakland Athletics the past seven seasons, emerged as the favorite.
“It was pretty obvious John Farrell was going to get a chance to manage, so I looked at internal and external candidates throughout the game, and I asked John Farrell to do the same. We both came up with Curt as the No. 1 choice for the Boston Red Sox,” Francona said on a conference call with reporters this afternoon.
Young turned down an offer to remain with the A’s to pursue other opportunities. He was named Red Sox pitching coach today.
“The opportunity to talk to (general manager) Theo (Epstein) out here in Arizona, and get an understanding of what they were looking for and the type of pitchers they have was exciting for me to be a part of,” Young said. “It was definitely something I could not pass on once I had the opportunity.”
Young said he will spend the offseason getting to know Francona and the Red Sox pitching staff. Francona was the A’s bench coach in 2003, while Young was named Oakland’s pitching coach the following year after four seasons working with pitchers in the A’s minor league system.
“They have been successful with what they’re doing. I will bring suggestions of things that may help these guys get better. Mainly, it’s coming in and learning what these guys have been doing on a daily basis, what they do between starts, what the relievers do, and make sure we get into a good routine that helps them get ready for games,” Young said.
Francona said the Red Sox had two internal candidates for the position — scout Mike Cather and minor-league pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel, and both had good interviews, but in the end, Young was the best man for the job.
“This was an important hire. Losing John Farrell was a big deal. Getting Curt Young was a big deal,” Francona said.
Young was asked if he’d seek Farrell’s advice on the staff he’s inheriting. He said he intended to do that.
“I’m looking forward to talking to him and getting the feeling of things he’ll pass along to me to get to know these guys a little better,” Young said.
Francona said Farrell told him he’d be willing to help the transition, despite his new role as manager of a rival in the American League East.
“John’s moved on, and I know he’s in our division, but you don’t just stop caring about your guys,” Francona said.
Globe correspondent Liz Torres contributed to this report.