The Red Sox have asked permission to speak with John Farrell directly

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We heard last night that the Red Sox were “making progress” in negotiations to acquire John Farrell from the Blue Jays to be their new manager. Barring something unexpected, it looks like a deal will get done.

According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox have asked permission from the Blue Jays to speak to Farrell directly. This would seem to indicate that talks have progressed to the point where the Red Sox want to negotiate a contract with Farrell.

Farrell has one year left on his contract with the Blue Jays, so the Red Sox will have to give up a player or players as part of a trade. While one rival executive told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com last night that compensation negotiations resembled “a staring contest,” the Blue Jays are prepared to start over following a disappointing 73-89 record this season.

“There’s no question it gets done in my mind,” said one rival executive. “Toronto doesn’t want him there anymore.”

The Blue Jays surely want to get something of value in order to give up their manager to a division rival, but quotes like this one won’t help their leverage.

The Red Sox have interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Orioles third base DeMarlo Hale for their vacant managerial position, but Farrell is widely considered the top choice to replace Bobby Valentine. Farrell, 50, previously served as pitching coach with Boston from 2006-2010 under Terry Francona.

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.