6 Future Candidates for Red Sox Manager

Before the club won six of their last seven games, many talking heads were wondering if John Farrell would remain as Red Sox manager for much longer. This conversation led to speculation about who could replace him. Should the Red Sox decide to move on from him at any point, here are five potential candidates. Not including Torey Lovullo, who recently took a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

6. Gary DiSarcina

The former California Angels shortstop has made a few separate stints in the Red Sox Red Sox Managerorganization. He managed the Lowell Spinners from 2007-09 and the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2013. Baseball America named DiSarcina Minor League Manager of the Year in 2013 for leading the PawSox to the Governor’s Cup. After a brief time with the Angels’ staff, DiSarcina returned to Boston this season.

  1. Matt Williams

Williams won the National League Manager of the Year in 2014 while with the Washington Nationals. However, he was fired in 2015 after his team failed to return to the postseason. It was rumored that his lack of leadership that season also led to clubhouse dysfunction – especially between Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. Additionally, he was named in the George J. Mitchell Report for alleged steroid usage as a player. But his candidacy would draw some interest.

  1. Dale Svuem

Ben Cherington wanted to hire Svuem in 2012, but instead, he took the job with the Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein. With Chicago, he had a 128-197 record in two seasons. Currently, he is the hitting coach for the Kansas City Royals. The Red Sox would probably want someone with a pitching background though.

  1. Brian Butterfield

The native Mainer is well-beloved in Red Sox Nation given his father-like personality. Butterfield is also well-respected in the clubhouse due to his history with the team and current role as third base coach. However, he has only ever been in the managerial conversation once, with the Blue Jays in 2010. If the Red Sox were to hire him, I believe it would only be on a short-term basis.

  1. Jason Varitek

The former big league catcher and team captain was always a strong leader. He has served as a special assistant to both Cherington and Dave Dombrowski since retirement. His storied MLB career, leadership skills, and Red Sox connection make Varitek an automatic favorite in any discussion.

  1. Jim Leyland

Leyland is the most successful of any name on this list. With just under 3,500 games managed, he clearly has the most experience too. The American team won a championship at the World Baseball Classic under his leadership. Leyland’s won World Series titles and American League pennants with the Marlins and Tigers respectively. However, due to his age, he may want to soon retire from managing permanently.

Red Sox Should Drop Farrell for Lovullo

It’s early in the season, but the Red Sox are already showing signs that this season won’t be much different than the last two. Clay Buchholtz continues to struggle on the mound, the team fails to drive in crucial runs, and for the first time since I started attending Sox games in 2014, I’ve seen a visible drop in attendance. You could attribute it to the cold weather (45 degree temperatures make it hard to enjoy a game, especially at night), but it drop Farrelldoesn’t help that the Sox are off to a challenging start. This idea leads me to ask whether the Red Sox should drop Farrell now and replace him with Torey Lovullo, who did much better managing the team last season. Personally, I think it’s time to drop Farrell.

Tory Lovullo took over as manager last season when Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1
lymphoma. The team went from performing sluggishly to scoring 37 runs in the first two games. Lovullo even had a .636 winning percentage through the end of September. This positive turn of events overshadowed the .439 winning percentage Farrell had before leaving for medical treatment. Farrell eventually returned to the team, taking the reigns back from Lovullo, who the Red Sox signed to a two-year contract to stay with the team as bench coach. Many saw this as an insurance move in the event that Farrell, God forbid, gets sick again.

Is it Time to Drop Farrell?

There’s another reason to drop Farrell from the Red Sox. Last June, after he was pulled from the game, Wade Miley got into a heated argument in the dugout with Farrell. Some saw this as Farrell’s inability to manage his team and retain their respect. Of course, players get angry and want to vent from time to time, but the fact that Miley blew up at Farrell is a sign that he’s not commanding the respect that managers deserve. While Miley is partly to blame for that incident, a stronger manager would have never tolerated that in the first place. On a larger level, it is a sign that tensions were, and probably still are, high in the clubhouse. If that’s the case, it needs to be defused by a change in management.

Maybe it’s still too early to tell, but at what point do you decide that it’s time for a change?

John Farrell Signs Contract Extension

john farrell

John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 season that includes a club option for 2018, according to ESPN.

“I’m very pleased to announce, on behalf of owners, no question in our minds John is theJohn Farrell right man to manage this team and we expect him to be here for a long time,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. “Given that we had been entering the final year of the original contract he signed here, we wanted to get something done with him prior to spring training and almost made it, first day.

“Clearly, we want him to be here as our manager for a long time. It gets the question out of the way going into the season and allows us to focus on baseball.”

The 52-year-old came back to Boston in 2013 and won the World Series as a manager for the first time. He spent his previous two years as a manager with the Toronto Blue Jays while going 154-170 as his first managerial position.

With the Red Sox, Farrell has gone 168-156 while winning a title and finishing last place in the AL East last season. He hope to prove himself in 2015 with a pitching staff made up of Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly and Justin Masterson while also dealing with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup on a daily basis.

The Red Sox manager was a pitching coach under Terry Francona and won a World Series ring with the 2007 team as he helped Josh Beckett and the rest of the starting staff to it second title in four seasons.

With the deal, the Red Sox (and John Farrell) can focus on getting ready for the 2015 season as well as being secure for the next few seasons under a consistent managerial presence.