Red Sox in no rush to exercise Farrell's '18 option

Front office is more focused on filling open bench coach position

November 8th, 2016

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Red Sox manager John Farrell is going into the last guaranteed year of his contract, which also has a club option for 2018.

On Tuesday at the General Manager Meetings, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he wasn't inclined to exercise that option in the immediate future. The Red Sox don't have to make that decision until 10 days after the 2017 World Series.

"It's not a pressing issue for me today," Dombrowski said.

What is pressing is finding a bench coach to replace Torey Lovullo, who recently left Boston and was named Arizona's manager after the dismissal of Chip Hale. Dombrowski said he had a list of names, but he has only begun that process with Farrell, who just returned from the Dominican Republic.

"John just got back yesterday," Dombrowski said. "But it is something we're moving forward on."

Asked when he'd like to have that position filled, Dombrowski added: "I don't have a time frame on that."

Farrell was hired to manage the Red Sox in 2013 after two years in the same position with the Blue Jays, and he originally signed a four-year contract through '16. An additional year and the option were later added to the deal.

Farrell, who was the pitching coach in Boston under Terry Francona when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, immediately led the club to their third World Series title in 10 years upon his '13 return.

Farrell was a hire of former Boston general manager Ben Cherington, who is now with the Toronto. Dombrowski inherited Farrell after leaving the Tigers and taking his current job with the Red Sox on Aug. 18, 2015.

Farrell missed the last six weeks of the 2015 season battling a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and he has since recovered. He has a .523 winning percentage (339-309) with Boston despite last-place finishes in the American League East in '14 and '15.

This past season, the Red Sox rebounded to win the AL East with a 93-69 record, but they were swept in an AL Division Series by the Indians. Including the postseason, they lost eight of their last nine games.