ST. LOUIS — Try putting yourself in the shoes of Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, because this is what the compensation issue for John Farrell is all about.
We’re certain the discussion has been initiated at the ownership level. But in the end, Anthopoulos and Ben Cherington have to settle on the players involved
So what is Anthopoulos thinking?
The Red Sox are division rivals, so he has to ask for and receive something significant, right?
The argument against that is, if Farrell doesn’t want to be there, that hurts the Jays’ leverage.
As one rival American League East GM said today, “I don’t think it’s a great practice to deal for managers. I’m surprised the league allows it. If the guy doesn’t want to be there you just let him go. What’s the big deal? You get someone else who does want to be there and who you feel will do a good job.
“Whenever you hire a manager, you usually have two or three other people you’ve interviewed that you could easily have given the job to. I’m sure Toronto has other people they considered.”
One of them is DeMarlo Hale, who interviewed with the Red Sox today.
The fact the Red Sox and the Jays are discussing compensation seems to indicate Toronto is willing to let Farrell go. Now, if they’re asking for Clay Buchholz, as they did last year, that’s probably not a serious attempt to get something done. But Buchholz does qualify as “significant.”
Would the Jays offer Farrell an extension as a lure for him to call the whole thing off? As of now, Farrell will go into the final year of his contract as a lame duck. Some teams don’t mind their manager being in the final year of a deal; they reason that since he’s under contract, he should do his best to manage the team.
As Globe colleague Pete Abraham pointed out in a previous blog entry, if the blueprint for compensation is what the White Sox and Marlins agreed on for on a championship-winning manager in Ozzie Guillen, should the same formula be used for Farrell, who has had two tough years in Toronto? Or should the division factor count for greater compensation?
If I’m Anthopoulos, even if I don’t care whether Farrell leaves, I still hold out for a major player. In the end, maybe you just settle for something less for a manager you don’t really care to retain.
And then comes the issue of whether the Jays think Farrell will significantly improve the Red Sox. If they don’t think that’s the case, they’ll let him go for a decent prospect.