Jays reverse policy on lateral moves

With John Farrell rumored to be a top candidate for the Boston Red Sox's managerial vacancy, the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday put a stop to any speculation their skipper would consider jumping by ending their policy of allowing team employees to leave for a similar position elsewhere.

"The Toronto Blue Jays have amended their policy and will not grant permission for lateral moves," Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos said in a joint statement Tuesday.

Farrell leaving for Boston's managerial vacancy, of course, would be a lateral move.

Previously, Anthopoulos said the club's position was to allow coaches and executives to speak with other teams about positions, even if the job would be a lateral move. That stance was in contrast to the policy of most other clubs.

During a conference call on Tuesday, he was reversed course.

"Totally, 100 percent, lateral moves (will be blocked)," Anthopoulos said. "That's exactly the way it reads."

The Blue Jays' policy change appears to be linked to rumors of a potential reunion between Farrell and the Red Sox. Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 and by all indications was well-respected by players, the front office and the fan base.

Anthopoulos said the speculation about Farrell was becoming a distraction.

"I think we have to constantly adjust to the times," Anthopoulos said. "The game continues to change and we have to continue to adjust to make sure that we maintain the core values of the ball club."

The Red Sox have not contacted the Blue Jays about Farrell, a source told ESPNBoston.com, most likely a result of the team's front office turnover. After Ben Cherington is introduced as general manager at a Tuesday news conference, the Red Sox likely will ramp up their search for a new manager.

The team parted ways with manager Terry Francona soon after the season ended.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.