The Boston Red Sox are hoping that two big trades will help them get back to the playoffs after missing out three years in a row.
The first was a genuine blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers and freed up more than $250 million in future salaries. The second was the deal that brought John Farrell back to Fenway Park on Sunday.
The Red Sox hired Farrell to be their new manager after pursuing him for more than a year, agreeing to trade infielder Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays to pry their former pitching coach out of the manager’s chair in Toronto.
“I’m extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston,” Farrell said in a statement. “I love this organization. It’s a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us.”
Farrell had been the Toronto manager the past two seasons, posting a 154-170 record with two fourth-place finishes. He had one year remaining on his contract with the Blue Jays, allowing them to demand compensation from Boston.
It’s the second time the Red Sox have pursued Farrell for their managerial job, closing the deal this time by working out a rare but not unprecedented trade for an active manager. Boston will give up Aviles and get right-hander David Carpenter in return.
It is the seventh time in major league history that one team has traded for a manager while he was under contract to another, the Red Sox said. Last year, the Miami Marlins obtained Ozzie Guillen from the Chicago White Sox in a deal that also included three players.
TIGERS WAIT: Jim Leyland’s club has had plenty of time to get rested and ready for whoever they will face in the World Series.
Detroit, which wrapped up the ALCS last Thursday, will hit the road first for Wednesday’s Game 1.
“They are going to deal with quite a lay off,” Giants GM Brian Sabean said.
COMING TO AMERICA: Japanese high school pitcher Shohei Otani says he will pursue a career in Major League Baseball instead of turning professional in Japan.
Otani, a 6-foot-4 right-hander who has thrown a fastball between 99 and 100 mph, has been scouted by several major league teams including the Dodgers and Red Sox.