Before we start playing a guessing game about who is going where and for how much money this offseason, let’s get one thing straight. Current Toronto Blue Jays Manager Alex Anthopoulos is still under contract with the Blue Jays. That means if he leaves this offseason, to Boston or elsewhere, it will be the decision of the Blue Jays' front office staff.
This does mean that the Blue Jays would receive some sort of compensation for letting Farrell go to another team, whether it is a pitcher or some cash to go out and get a pitcher. So yes, there is a case to be made as to why the team should let him go, but there is a much larger bank of evidence as to why it would make sense to keep him around.
Let’s get cracking on the top five reasons the Blue Jays need to keep John Farrell behind their bench.
John Farrell has been managing with half a deck these past couple years. Their current payroll is around $75 million dollars and division rivals New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles all dwarf the club in spending.
Even though his team has not had the money to go out and get big name players, he has still been able to coach the players he does have into putting up some solid numbers.
General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has admitted that the team needs to get better and to do so he must spend more money this offseason. By doing this, it does two things. Firstly, it negates the claim that the poor results this year were a result of John Farrell’s coaching. When the GM admits you need better players, you probably need better players. Secondly, it means that fans can expect some big name players to come to Toronto this offseason, and some big dollar figures to be thrown around because of it.
If Farrell were to leave, all indications are that he would fly the Blue Jays' coop and go back to Boston to take over the manager's position there. In all likelihood Bobby Valentine will be out as Red Sox manager at the end of the year and the speculation is that Farrell will take his place.
This would not only be a loss for the Jays, but it would directly help their division rival. The Blue Jays face the Red Sox 18 times next season, and you can bet that Farrell would use his knowledge of the Blue Jays to help his new team win.
Letting Farrell go would be equal parts a loss to the Blue Jays and a victory to their division rival.
He spent time as a pitching coach at the collegiate level and with the Red Sox before becoming manager of the Blue Jays.
His past as pitcher is invaluable experience for the Blue Jays. Yes, the argument could be made that the Blue Jays could replace him with a different ex-pitcher-turned-manager but that’s not all he gives the team.
The Jays have had trouble this year with their pitching staff staying healthy and staying consistent. Keeping Farrell in that role could provide a much needed form of stability.
This is not the time to be rocking the boat in Toronto.
Every year at the end of the season, third base coach Brian Butterfield makes a list of things he thinks the Blue Jays need to get better at in order to improve for the following year.
He brings this list to his fellow coaches and they work on their game plan and implement it during spring training.
To start the year, the Blue Jays had a commitment to playing "small ball." By moving runners up 90 feet at a time they were able to generate more runs and put themselves into scoring position more often. This game plan was a product of Brian Butterfield.
The Blue Jays have also had a knack for being aggressive at the plate. This does not mean swinging at bad pitches—they still preached plate discipline—it means taking a pitch that you like and going for it, regardless of the count or pitch number.
This trust in Brian Butterfield and the rest of his coaching staff is a reason the Blue Jays can’t afford to lose John Farrell.
A lot of credit has gone to Alex Anthopoulos for taking players struggling for other teams and bringing them to Toronto, and then see them excel. Although a lot of this praise is aimed correctly, a considerable amount needs to go to John Farrell as well.
Players like Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista, Yunel Escobar and Edwin Encarnacion have all improved their games in Toronto after being acquired because they were struggling elsewhere.
Farrell has done a great job coaching these guys back to relevancy and deserves some credit for their resurgence.
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