Doctors have determined that Red Sox manager John Farrell’s cancer is in remission, the team announced.
The good news comes three weeks after new team president Dave Dombrowski made it clear that Farrell would remain the manager in 2016. Farrell took a leave of absence from mid-August through the end of the season to receive treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt lymphoma and bench coach Torey Lovullo served as interim manager.
Here’s what Farrell said today in a statement:
I am extremely thankful for the outpouring of support I have received from the Red Sox, my family, friends, and fans throughout this process. I am also especially thankful for the talented doctors who cared for me in Detroit and here at MGH.
Lovullo will remain with the Red Sox as Farrell’s bench coach, bypassing opportunities to interview for managerial openings.
John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.
Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.
Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.
Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.
All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.
Torey Lovullo took over as interim Red Sox manager in August when John Farrell went on a leave of absence following news that he’d been diagnosed with stage one lymphoma.
Lovullo has managed the Red Sox to a 28-16 (.636) record compared to the team’s 50-64 (.439) record under Farrell this season, leading to lots of speculation about Farrell’s job status, but according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com the revamped front office intends to keep Farrell as manager for next season “as long as he’s healthy enough to do so.”
There are two key issues at play here. One is that Farrell has a 121-155 record as manager since 2014, so regardless of his health status there was speculation that the Red Sox might have looked to make a change. Beyond that, Lovullo has frequently been in the running for manager jobs–including finishing runner-up to Paul Molitor in the Twins’ search last offseason–so it’s very possible that his helping to turn around the Red Sox in Farrell’s absence could lead to him finally getting his own gig. In other words, it may truly be choosing between Farrell and Lovullo because the odds of Lovullo sticking around in the same bench coach role may be slim.
Farrell signed a two-year contract extension during spring training that covers 2016 and 2017. And of course he’s not even two years removed from winning a World Series. McAdam reports that in new team president Dave Dombrowski’s first meeting with the staff in August he “said Farrell’s job would be waiting for him next spring.”