NEW YORK — As speculation swirls regarding the job security of Bobby Valentine, the inevitable next step is theorizing about who his replacement would be.
One name that continues to come up is Blue Jays manager John Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach.
The Red Sox were reportedly interested in Farrell last fall before they hired Valentine, to a point where the Jays formally amended their team policy to prohibit employees from leaving the organization for a lateral move.
“I’m under contract here,” Farrell told reporters in Toronto on 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.”
Farrell then abruptly ended the interview session.
Farrell is under contract through the 2013 season. But, in theory, the Red Sox could trade for him. The Marlins obtained Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox in that fashion last fall.
Farrell is 137-145 in two years with the Blue Jays. But his reputation within Fenway Park is so spotless that Sox officials would surely look past his modest record with the Blue Jays.
A bigger question is whether Farrell would want to return. A case can can be made that the Blue Jays have a brighter future than the aging and expensive Red Sox. Farrell also is a close friend of Terry Francona and could view a return to Boston as being disloyal.
In other matters from the Bronx today:
• 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. It’s my first year,” he said. “Everyone tells me it’s standard operational procedure. Life in the big city … it’s not a big city. Provincial town.”
• LHP Felix Doubront was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 10) with what was reported to be a right knee contusion, an injury that was not mentioned until Friday.
Doubront (10-6, 4.70) 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.
• Daniel Nava, on the disabled list since July 29 with what the team said was a wrist injury, will join Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday to start a rehabilitation assignment
• LHP Rich Hill pitched a scoreless inning for Double A Portlan, the latest step on his rehabilitation from an elbow strain. He allowed a hit and had a strikeout.
• David Ortiz took batting practice on the field, the latest test of his strained right Achilles tendon. He could try some running drills on Sunday.
• Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal wore a bowtie on the air that represented Will-To-Live, a non-profit group dedicated to preventing teen suicide. Former Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein started the organization in memory if his son, Will. Go to will-to-live.org for more information.