Jays name John Farrell as new manager
Red Sox pitching coach since 2007 replaces Cito Gaston
The Toronto Blue Jays on Monday officially named Boston Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell as their new manager.
The Jays introduced Farrell at an afternoon news conference, while also announcing the contract extensions of both third base coach Brian Butterfield and bench coach Bruce Walton.
Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach since 2007, replaces Cito Gaston, who retired after the 2010 regular season.
Farrell's hiring ends an exhaustive search for Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who began the important task on Aug. 1 and reportedly interviewed more than 30 candidates.
Farrell becomes the Jays' 12th manager in the history of the Blue Jays franchise.
"Going through this interview process it became very clear the direction that this organization is heading, the resources that are available to support a club that is going to compete and compare with New York and Boston in time," said Farrell. "Those were all clear selling points to me."
Anthopoulos said he based his decision on "the person, and your belief in the person."
"John, first and foremost, is a leader and that's the number one thing we need in that clubhouse," said Anthopoulos. "Factor in his background, his knowledge, his ability to work with players, his ability to put together a staff. There's so much that John brings."
Known as a "baseball lifer," 48-year-old Farrell was praised by Boston manager Terry Francona for the knowledge he brings to an organization.
"You spend any time around him, he can be good at whatever he wants," Francona told the Boston Herald in the summer. "Manager, GM, pitching coach, running a minor-league system, you name it. He's just a special talent."
Farrell has never managed at the pro level.
He takes over a Blue Jays club that surprised many after finishing with an 85-77 record in the tough American League East Division.
Most of the success this season came from a young pitching rotation led by Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and Brett Cecil.
Farrell 'will be an effective, excellent manager'
Toronto broke the team record for home runs, but had a poor overall batting average.
After pitching for eight seasons in the majors and then retiring in 1996, Farrell was the assistant coach-pitching and recruiting co-ordinator at Oklahoma State University for five years.
He then joined the Cleveland Indians as director of player development. His farm system was named best in the big leagues by Baseball America in 2003.
Francona brought Farrell in as Red Sox pitching coach in 2006 and he won a World Series ring in 2007.
"He will be an effective, excellent manager," Red Sox owner John Henry wrote in an email to the Boston Globe.
"I expect him to manage in MLB for as long as he wants to. He's going to an excellent young team with a strong and smart hierarchy. The Blue Jays are going to be a force in the AL East for some time to come."
With files from The Canadian Press and Malcolm Kelly