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Farrell brushes aside Boston manager speculation

The questions keep coming, but so far John Farrell's stance on the rumors linking him to the vacant managerial job in Boston has remained the same.

Farrell broke his offseason silence Friday morning with an appearance on MLB Network Radio. Even though they were his first public statements of the offseason, the overall tone was exactly the same as it was at the end of Toronto's disappointing 2012 campaign.

"I'm the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays," Farrell said. "That's where I've been the last two years. That's where I currently am. This speculation started to rear its head again, oh, probably the final two months of the season.

"I can tell you this -- in my conversations with [general manager] Alex [Anthopoulos], it hasn't distracted me from my job and what the commitment there is. I'm extremely challenged [and] happy as manager of the Blue Jays."

Some reports out of Boston have indicated that Farrell is the Red Sox's top choice to replace Bobby Valentine, who was fired at the end of the regular season after just one year on the job.

The fit between Farrell and the Red Sox is a natural one because he spent four years as that club's pitching coach from 2007-10. Farrell was considered the heir apparent to former Boston manager Terry Francona until he signed with the Blue Jays following the '10 season.

Farrell is under contract with the Blue Jays through the 2013 season, but it has been widely assumed that the Red Sox would ask for Toronto's permission to speak with the 50-year-old. If that is the case, Farrell claims it is all news to him, but he does appear to be paying attention to Boston's search, as Dodgers coach Tim Wallach interviewed for the position on Friday.

"It's obvious that there's a vacancy to fill there and they're going about their interview process, as it is with a couple of guys coming in there today and tomorrow, I guess," Farrell said.

"Nothing has been communicated directly to me. As far as if the Red Sox have contacted Alex -- I'm unaware of that. So where it stands is what I said - [I'm] manager of the Blue Jays."

The Blue Jays have remained silent on the issue since the end of the regular season. Anthopoulos has said Farrell's situation is not particularly high on his priority list, with the main focus of the offseason being to upgrade the starting rotation and possibly filling holes at second base and left field.

That could change if Boston were to offer an appropriate amount of compensation in return. The Blue Jays are very high on Boston pitching prospect Rubby De La Rosa, and last year when similar rumors surfaced regarding Farrell, the club reportedly asked for starter Clay Buchholz in return.

For now, though, Toronto has remained firm in its stance that Farrell isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"John is the manager of our club," Anthopoulos said on the last day of the regular season. "I don't have a problem at all [with him returning on a one-year deal]. I know this has been asked before -- about terms of the contract and things like that.

"I think I've been pretty consistent from that standpoint. We need to focus on the roster. We need to focus on making the rotation better. Those are the areas of this team that need to be addressed, especially in light of what the results have been. Certainly health is going to be part of the solution, but not all of it. The rotation still needs to get better."