BOSTON - The Red Sox are preparing to announce that John Farrell will be their new manager, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the deal to bring the former Boston pitching coach back one year after the ballclub first tried to give him the top job.
The announcement was delayed by the unusual logistics of hiring a manager under contract with another team, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the final procedural steps had not been cleared. But the three-year deal to replace Bobby Valentine could be announced as soon as Sunday, the official said.
Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Kenn said the team had no announcement to make. Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse did not immediately respond to a voice mail seeking comment.
Comcast SportsNet New England was first to report the deal.
Farrell had one year remaining on his contract with Toronto, where he went 154-170 over the past two seasons. The Red Sox have agreed to send the Blue Jays compensation for letting Farrell leave for their AL East rivals.
Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach for four seasons before Toronto hired him as manager two years ago. He was Boston's top target when Terry Francona was fired after the team's September collapse in 2011, but the Blue Jays would not allow him to leave.
But the Red Sox found themselves looking for a manager again just one season later, after Valentine led the team to a last-place finish and a 69-93 record that was the franchise's worst since 1965. And, after Toronto went 73-89 in 2012, the Blue Jays were willing to part with him.
The Red Sox also interviewed San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Baltimore Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.
Farrell is familiar with Red Sox management from his time here and has worked with many Boston pitchers, including starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.
Even before the announcement, news of the deal trickled out over Twitter, where Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen wrote: "Want to wish our skipper the best in Boston, good luck!"