The Toronto Blue Jays began gearing up for an announcement of their new manager as soon as next week while a report out of Boston on Friday night said Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell had been offered the job.
According to Comcast SportsNet New England, citing multiple sources, the sides need only to agree on a new contract. Earlier, reports said both Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and Cleveland Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., had been told they were out of the running.
The status of Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield remained uncertain, although a news conference is expected Monday or Tuesday during the gap between the league championship series and World Series.
If Farrell were indeed the retired Cito Gaston's replacement, it would bring to a close a thorough and exhaustive process that began in August with GM Alex Anthopoulos and his staff combing through all 30 organizations to examine prospective candidates.
They whittled down those names into an interview list of at least 15 men, but possibly more given the secretive nature of the process.
Anthopoulos is believed to have narrowed the field down to the four finalists in the middle of this week, and wanted a decision made by Friday in order to give the new manager time to start building his coaching staff.
The Blue Jays are expected to ask that pitching coach Bruce Walton be retained but the future of the rest of the staff is up in the air, although each is guaranteed a job within the organization.
Butterfield may be the most interesting case, described by one player as someone who definitely needed to be brought back. But having been passed up for the manager's job despite being on staff since 2002, he may feel a change is needed to further his career, and he is thought to have a third base coach's job waiting for him in Baltimore under close friend Buck Showalter.
Farrell has strong backing in the Blue Jays front office from assistant GM Tony LaCava, who was the national crosschecker for the Indians in 2002 while Farrell served as Cleveland's director of player development.
His work included overseeing the team's Latin American programs in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, a new point of emphasis for the Blue Jays under Anthopoulos. Another is player development, in which Farrell will also be well schooled, and he is well positioned to mould the club's most important asset — young pitching.
While Farrell has been the Red Sox pitching coach since 2007, he has never before been a manager, which may pose some challenges, making the selection of a coaching staff even more important.