Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino: John Farrell a ‘perfect fit’
|10.23.12 at 2:41 pm ET|
Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino, who was in charge of much of the responsibility for negotiating with Blue Jays counterpart Paul Beeston to release John Farrell from his contract, said that he was concerned at times in the process that Farrell would not be granted permission to come to Boston.
“Yes there was [concern that the Blue Jays wouldn’t let him go],” said Lucchino. “That’s why the suggestion that somehow we were making a mistake in bringing in other people to interview is I think unfounded. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether this thing could be done. We had to prepare for Plan B.”
Asked what happened to breathe life into the discussions between the teams, Lucchino suggested only, “I like to think it was sweet reasonableness that somehow reared its lovely head in the middle of the process.”
Still, he acknowledged that the discussions with the Blue Jays this year were dramatically different from the ones that took place a year ago, after Terry Francona was fired following the 2011 season, when sources have said that Toronto sought starter Clay Buchholz in exchange for Farrell. This year, the two sides ended up agreeing that the Sox could compensate Toronto by sending shortstop Mike Aviles to the Jays. Even so, Lucchino noted that a player who was an everyday shortstop in 2012 represented a more substantial form of compensation than Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz, the players whom the Sox received from the Cubs in March as compensation for the departure of former GM Theo Epstein.
“Let’s just say [the Blue Jays] made substantial demands on us throughout the process. It had to evolve over time for us to find the right combination of consideration, because they absolutely deserved important consideration, and they got it in our last year’s starting shortstop,” said Lucchino. “It’s a far cry from the process we went through last year with regards to our general manager.”
Still, while Lucchino characterized the compensation as substantial, he also made clear that the Sox found it to be worth parting with Aviles in order to acquire Farrell, who brings recent managerial experience in the AL East along with familiarity with the Red Sox organization (both front office members and, somewhat critically, pitchers) to his new job.
“He seemed like the perfect person at this time. There are different times in organizations, different circumstances. At this time, in these circumstances, he seemed a perfect fit,” said Lucchino. “He clearly wanted to be here. He knew what he was getting into. He knew what the Boston market was all about, what the expectations were about, what the media expectations are that he must deal with. The fact that he felt so strongly, just put yourself in our position — when a guy comes in and says this is a dream job for me, this is the epicenter of the baseball world, it makes you feel good. It makes you feel the guy has a sense of the dimensions of the job and what he’s biting into.
“[GM Ben Cherington] is constantly talking about the next great Red Sox team,” Lucchino added. “That’s the goal, is the next great Red Sox team. We can see John Farrell as the next great manager of the next great Red Sox team. It’s both a short-term fix and a long-term fit as well.”
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