Last week John Farrell’s non-denial denial when asked about reports that the Red Sox are interested in him as their next manager kept the speculation swirling and according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com Boston and Toronto “have begun preliminary discussions about potential compensation.”
In the meantime the Red Sox are continuing to interview other candidates, including Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.
However, it seems clear now that Farrell is their first choice and it’s hard to imagine the Blue Jays putting up a huge fight if they can get some value back in the form of prospects.
Farrell was the Red Sox’s pitching coach for five seasons under Terry Francona, leaving to become the Blue Jays’ manager in 2011. He has a 154-170 record in Toronto and last week said stuff like “I am the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays” and “that’s where I’ve been the last two years and that’s where I currently am.”
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.