Red Sox hire manager John Farrell away from the Blue Jays, send Mike Aviles to Toronto

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From Sean McAdam of CSN New England comes word that the Red Sox have hired current Blue Jays skipper John Farrell to be their next manager.

Farrell has already worked out a contract with Boston that will run through 2015. Compensation for Toronto will be announced in the next couple days.

The Red Sox interviewed Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale. But it was pretty clear from the start that their sights were set on Farrell, who served as Boston’s pitching coach from 2007-2010.

Farrell had a 154-170 managerial record in his two years with the Jays.

The Red Sox likely had to give up a decent prospect (or two) to get the deal completed. One wonders how smart it is for an organization in a sort of rebuilding mode to dip into its farm system in this fashion.

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UPDATE, 11:51 PM: According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, the compensation involves two players switching clubs. No names yet, but Morosi hears the Blue Jays are getting a major leaguer.

UPDATE, 12:06 AM: Morosi says the Jays will be getting an infielder, but not Will Middlebrooks.

UPDATE, 12:12 AM: WEEI.com reports that the Blue Jays are receiving middle infielder Mike Aviles, who batted .250/.282/.381 with 13 home runs, 14 stolen bases and 60 RBI in 136 games this past season for the Red Sox. Toronto will send a player to be named or cash to Boston along with Farrell.

UPDATE, 12:21 AM: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun says Adam Lind may be heading to the Sox.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 8:39 AM: Lind is not involved in the deal, writes Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.

UPDATE, SUNDAY 2:08 PM: The Red Sox are getting David Carpenter. The swap is complete.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.