John Farrell joins select company of traded bench bosses

John Farrell will probably end up being just a footnote in the Toronto Blue Jays' record books, but he did make a little history with Sunday's announcement, joining the ranks of coaches like Ozzie Guillen, Bill Belichick and Pat Riley.
John Farrell, far right, joined exclusive company when he was traded from the Blue Jays to the Red Sox. Among other coaches/managers traded, from left to right, Pat Riley, Bill Belichick and Ozzie Guillen. (Getty Images)

John Farrell will probably end up being just a footnote in the Toronto Blue Jays’ record books, but he did make a little history with Sunday’s announcement.

Farrell, who was sent along with pitcher David Carpenter to the Boston Red Sox for Mike Aviles, joined a small group of people who have been traded as manager/head coach. 

Here’s a look at the notable trades by league:


Ozzie Guillen — 2011

Guillen has always been an outspoken and controversial manager.

In 2011, Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams had enough of his antics and sent him with one-year remaining on his contract to manage the new-look Miami Marlins.

The White Sox also sent pitcher Ricardo Andres down south in exchange for Jhan Marinez and Ozzie Martinez.

One season later and it seems the White Sox made the right decision.

Under new coach Robin Ventura, the White Sox won 85 games and competed for a playoff spot, while Guillen’s Marlins fell well short of expectations and won just 69 games.

It’s rumoured the Marlins are considering replacing Guillen as manager.

Lou Piniella — 2002

Piniella always wanted to live closer to home.

In 2002, the Seattle Mariners granted their manager his wish, sending him to Florida along with minor leaguer Antonio Perez for Randy Winn.

Piniella made a bit of an impact with the Rays, leading them to a then-record 70 wins in 2004, but the outspoken manager‘s criticism of their concentration on the future rather than investing in the present led to his dismissal in 2005.

Tampa's young talent went on to become a strong force in the American League East for several seasons. 

Chuck Tanner —1976

Before the start of the 1977 season, the Oakland Athletics conducted a fire sale. Little did manager Chuck Tanner know he would be part of the sell-off. 

Faced with a number of cost-saving moves with the arrival of free agency, the once-dominant Athletics traded Tanner and cash to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Outfielder Manny Sanguillen went to Oakland.

Tanner managed the Pirates for nine seasons and won a World Series in 1979. Sanguillen won a world championship ring, as well…when was traded back to Pittsburgh in 1978.

Gil Hodges — 1967  

After suffering through six losing seasons, the expansion New York Mets were determined to change their fortunes.

They found their man in a former Brooklyn Dodger.

Hodges made an immediate impact after the Mets obtained him from the Washington Senators in return for Bill Denehy.

In just his second season, Hodges led the 'Miracle Mets' to the 1969 World Series — and their victory marked the first time in major-league history an expansion team had won the championship. 

Hodges was named The Sporting News' Manager of the Year for this achievement.

He guided the Mets for two more productive seasons before dying of a heart-attack at the age of 47.

Joe Gordon & Jimmy Dykes — 1960

Cleveland Indians general manager Frank Lane was known as a man quick to pull the trigger on a trade. He made over 400 in his career. But only one involved swapping managers.

Unhappy with how his Indians were playing midseason, Lane came up with the idea of trading managers with the Detroit Tigers.

In the first-such move in major-league history, the Indians' Joe Gordon (49-46) was dealt to the Tigers for Jimmy Dykes (44-52).

"It looked in the last two or three days that a change would help us," he said at the time.

Considered mostly a publicly stunt, the move didn’t help either team. The Indians finished in fourth place, two spots ahead of the Tigers.


Pat Riley — 1995

His name still angers New York Knicks’ fans.

After leading the Knicks for four seasons, one of which included an appearance in the 1994 Finals, Riley resigned via fax in 1995 and then announced he was the next coach of the Miami Heat.

It was a controversial move.

The Heat, who faced charges of tampering in pursuing Riley – who had one year still left on his contract – settled the matter by sending a first-round draft pick and $1 million US in compensation for the head coach.

For the Heat, Riley ended up being a good long-term investment.

A playoff berth in his first season was a precursor of good things to come, as he led the Heat to their first Eastern Conference finals appearance in 1997.

Although mixed results followed, he finally brought a championship to the Heat in 2006 with an all-star roster that included Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade and Gary Payton.

Riley retired from coaching in 2008 and remains the team's president.

Stan Van Gundy — 2007 

Two years after resigning his position with the Miami Heat, Stan Van Gundy was looking for a new challenge.  He found it 372 kilometres north of his old job.

In June 2007, Van Gundy, who was still under contract with the Heat, joined the Orlando Magic in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2007 and the right to swap first-round picks in 2008 or another 2008 second-round selection and cash.

Gundy made the playoffs in each of his five seasons with the Magic.

He led them to an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2009.


Bill Parcells — 1997

The New York Jets found a creative way for circumventing Bill Parcells’ contractual obligations.

The arrangement just didn’t sit well with the New England Patriots.

Citing differences with ownership, Parcells decided to leave his post despite leading his team to a berth in the 1996 Super Bowl.

The Jets wanted Parcells, but since he was still under contract with the Patriots, they worked out an arrangement where he would spend the entire 1997 season as a consultant with the team. The Jets hired Bill Belichick, then No. 1 assistant to Parcells, as head coach.

After New England threatened legal action, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped in.  In the brokered deal, Parcells was released from his contract and allowed to coach the Jets in return for four draft picks from 1997 and 1999.

Parcells retired from the Jets after three seasons. He led them to the AFC championship game in 1998, but lost to the Denver Broncos.

Bill Belichick — 2000

Belichick’s reign as New York Jets head coach lasted one day.

Assembled in front of the press corps to announce that he was succeeding Bill Parcells in 2000, Belichick turned the announcement into a surprise resignation.

While the Jets were still reeling from this blockbuster, Belichick joined the New England Patriots as their head coach.

A legal battle ensued as the Jets claimed that Belichick was still under contract.

The league agreed and the Jets received a first-round pick from the Patriots as compensation.

It was a great trade for the Pats. Belichick led New England to three Super Bowl championships (2001, 2003, 2004) as well as a perfect regular season in 2007, and is now considered one of the top coaches in the game.

Jon Gruden — 2002

How much does a Super Bowl cost?

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers it was two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million US.

That’s how much the Bucs paid to release Jon Gruden from the final year of his Oakland Raiders contract.

The trade paid huge dividends in Gruden’s first season with the Bucs, leading to Tampa’s first and only championship in 2002.

Gruden lasted seven seasons at the helm of the Bucs and made the playoffs only twice after that. He was fired in 2008.

Herman Edwards — 2006

There’s something about the Jets that inspires head coaching controversies.

After the 2005 season, Kansas City Chiefs president Carl Peterson hinted in the press he wanted Edwards to succeed Dick Vermeil as head coach, a move that could be considered tampering.

Still under contract with the Jets, Edwards tried to leverage the Chiefs’ interest into a pay raise and an extension.

That just angered Jets ownership even further and decided to make a deal.

Just six years after Belichick bolted from New York, Edwards repeated the feat, jumping ship to join the Chiefs for a fourth-round draft pick.

Edwards went 15-33 in three seasons with the Chiefs and made the playoffs just once.


Michel Bergeron — 1987

Phil Esposito was never shy about trading for an NHL player while he was a general manager. So it makes sense he would trade for a head coach as well.

The first and only trade for an NHL head coach occurred in June 1987 when Esposito offered a first-round pick and $75,000 for the Quebec Nordiques’ Michel Bergeron.

Bergeron, who led the Nordiques to a playoff berth in each of his first seven seasons, didn’t end up being worth the huge investment.

The Rangers languished at the bottom of the Patrick Division in two years with Bergeron behind the bench. He was ultimately replaced by Esposito with two games left in the 1989 regular season.