john farrell getty

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.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.