Farrell, Hale, Lovullo likely to be wooed

BOSTON -- With as many as nine managing openings looming this winter, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell could find himself in demand. And Farrell, who in the past has turned down opportunities to interview for jobs in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, among others, said he is willing to listen.

“For sure,’’ he said after the Sox closed out the regular season Sunday.

Farrell said teams have not yet sought permission to interview him.

“We just ended an hour ago,’’ Farrell said. “How that ends, we’ll see. Time will tell.’’

Farrell, the Sox pitching coach for the last four seasons, has mentored two of the best young pitchers in baseball in Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, and also has overseen the development of closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Daniel Bard. He also played a key role in Daisuke Matsuzaka’s transition from Japan, which paid big dividends in Matsuzaka’s first two seasons.

There are some choice managing jobs open or expected to open this winter, including the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Other openings could include Seattle, Toronto, Arizona, Florida, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

Farrell, 48, acknowledged the attractiveness of some of those jobs.

“Sure,’’ he said, “[but] I don’t take lightly the fortune and opportunity of being here. All those things are weighed very heavily.’’

Farrell also said there is nothing contractually in his deal with the Red Sox that would prevent him from pursuing another job.

Two other Red Sox staffers are almost certain to be candidates as well. DeMarlo Hale, who finished his first season as Sox bench coach after spending the previous four seasons coaching third base, has interviewed for a number of jobs. That includes the Sox job before Terry Francona was hired. Last week in Chicago, Hale, 49, reiterated his desire to manage.

A native of Chicago, he smiled at the possibility of being a candidate for the Cubs’ job, but said he wasn’t going to get ahead of himself. He noted, though, that having spent a year as Sox bench coach, the same position from which Brad Mills vaulted to the Astros’ managing job last winter, he has an even greater feel for the game.

"Seeing the things that I think you have to deal with on a daily basis, I got to see it firsthand from a bench coach perspective," Hale said. "When I coached third base, I found myself more on an island over the last four years. Really, nobody could help me out there. It was my preparation, my decision.

"But this year, being in the dugout, communication with Tito and John Farrell from a pitching [standpoint], it's experience, you gain more experience. You see the game in a different view. You have to be conscious of a lot of things that might take place. Availability of pitchers, who's hurt, who's not. Some of those things you don't see at third base."

Torey Lovullo, who just finished his first season as manager of Triple-A Pawtucket, also is expected to attract interest. Lovullo, 45, was a finalist for the Indians’ job before Cleveland hired Manny Acta last winter and is highly regarded.

Sox general manager Theo Epstein, when asked Sunday about the status of the big-league coaching staff for next season, said he intended to sit down with Francona in the next couple of days to determine whether there will be any changes. First-base coach Ron Johnson missed much of the second half to deal with an accident involving his daughter, while third-base coach Tim Bogar had some trying moments in his first season at that position.