BOSTON -- Toronto manager John Farrell is "at the top" of the Red Sox's managerial wish list, according to a baseball source. The team intends to ask the Blue Jays for permission to speak with him about the job, the source said.
Farrell is under contract with the Blue Jays, who finished the season 73-89, four games ahead of the Red Sox.
If the Jays grant permission and the Red Sox decide they want to hire Farrell, the Jays and Red Sox could work out a trade. The White Sox and Marlins worked out a similar arrangement last season. Chicago traded manager Ozzie Guillen to Miami for a couple of prospects.
When it was speculated that the Sox were interested in speaking with Farrell about their managerial vacancy last season, the Blue Jays changed their policy and blocked personnel from interviewing for jobs for lateral positions. In the past, the team had allowed such interviews.
ESPN Insider Buster Olney talked earlier Thursday about the possibility the Red Sox would pursue Farrell:
“Last fall, before they hired Bobby, the Red Sox tried to hire John Farrell, the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays," Olney said. "They actually got very close to making a deal with the Blue Jays. But then the Blue Jays withdrew their permission from the Red Sox to talk with him.
“I would expect that the Red Sox will go down that path again, that they will talk to the Blue Jays and ask if John Farrell is available. He is under contract through the end of next season. Maybe after a disappointing season Toronto will be looking for change.”