Red Sox extend John Farrell's deal

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox announced Saturday morning that manager John Farrell, who was entering the final guaranteed year of his contract with the team, has been given an extension through the 2017 season, with a club option for 2018.

In essence, the club extended Farrell's contract by two years. The team had held an option on his deal for the 2016 season.

"I'm very pleased to announce, on behalf of owners, no question in our minds John is the right man to manage this team and we expect him to be here for a long time," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "Given that we had been entering the final year of the original contract he signed here, we wanted to get something done with him prior to spring training and almost made it, first day.

"Clearly, we want him to be here as our manager for a long time. It gets the question out of the way going into the season and allows us to focus on baseball."

Farrell, 52, won a World Series in his first year as Red Sox manager in 2013, which was followed by a last-place finish in 2014. Overall, the Red Sox have a 168-156 record and .519 winning percentage under Farrell, who also won a World Series ring with the Sox as the team's pitching coach in 2007.

"First and foremost, I'm ecstatic to have the extension, to be able to work alongside Ben and Mike [Hazen] and many others in our front office," Farrell said. "This is a very special place and to be able to be here for at least the number of years that are in place we don't take for granted for one moment what the expectations are and how we have to deliver on those expectations.

"To the coaching staff we have, the dedication they have, it's a great group to work with, and particularly when you look at the roster we have in place, this is setting up to be, I think, a very special year. The fact that it was handled the way it was, very low-key, which is preferred on my part. I feel the focus should always remain on the players and that will always be the case, I'm ecstatic about this coming together."

Farrell, who finished second to former Red Sox manager and current Cleveland Indians skipper Terry Francona in manager of the year voting in 2013, also managed two seasons in Toronto, where he compiled a 154-170 record for the Blue Jays.

"He's great," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said of Farrell. "When he was here as a pitching coach and playing for him, it's been great. Obviously we won the World Series with him and then had a tough year last year, but he's always been consistent and that's all you can want -- always communicates well, and we appreciate that."