In the end, it really doesn’t matter whether the Toronto Blue Jays want to let John Farrell go to the Red Sox or how much the Sox want Farrell to return to Boston.
It’s about what Farrell wants to do.
If Farrell tells Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos he wants to manage the Red Sox, what choice do the Blue Jays have but to make a deal? Being a major league manager is a job that demands all of your loyalty and focus. No team wants a manager who would rather be doing something else.
If Farrell makes that decision, it becomes a matter of compensation at that point.
The Red Sox would send some prospects Toronto’s way and that is that. It would probably be two players like LHP Drake Britton and OF Keury De La Cruz. Those are two of the organization’s top 20 prospects, a fair return on a manager with a losing record and one year left on his deal.
Farrell worked for the Red Sox as pitching coach from 2007-10. He goes back to 2003 in the Cleveland organization with assistant general manager Mike Hazen. They know all they need to know about each other at this point.
Either Farrell wants to come back and Anthopoulos makes a deal or Farrell decides to honor his contract and the Red Sox go to Plan B.
But every day that passes becomes a day lost. The Rockies are looking for a manager and the Marlins could soon join them. Attractive candidates could go elsewhere and take with them qualified coaches.
In retrospect, one of the mistakes that helped lead to the disaster of 2012 was waiting two months to hire a manager and cobbling together a coaching staff from mismatched parts. Whether it’s Farrell or somebody else, the next Sox manager deserves a chance to get organized at less than a breakneck pace.
One of John Wooden’s great sayings applies to the Red Sox: Be quick but don’t hurry.