John Farrell. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)
Making his first radio appearance since the Red Sox were eliminated from the postseason via a three-game sweep at the hands of the Indians in the American League Division Series, John Farrell touched on a variety of topics when appearing on the Hot Stove Show Wednesday night.
In an interview with Mike Mutnansky, John McDonald and Rob Bradford, the Red Sox manager explained his thoughts on his contract status, the plan to replace David Ortiz, and a variety of other topics.
ON HOW HE WAS TOLD HE WOULD BE COMING BACK FOR THE 2017 SEASON (THE LAST GUARANTEED YEAR OF HIS DEAL)
My contract is what it is. The terms, it’s not like it needed to be negotiated. It’s in place, and continues to be in place. My focus has always been our team and what goes on on the field. Once you sign a contract you’re out trying to do the best job you can.
DID HE EXPECT THE CONVERSATION WOULD INCLUDE PICKING UP 2018 OPTION?
It wasn’t an option, and it was if I was coming back. And when you win the AL East, you log 93 wins, we had a number of challenges as a team throughout the course of the year, so, again, I thought there probably would be a point and time when the season was over … You’re always going to have dialogue with your general manager and Dave and I have had daily conversations over the course of the year and we still do now. Our conversations are frequent. I thought there would be a time once the final our was recorded, whenever that was going to be, that we would have that type of discussion. The fact that it happened in the manner it was, knowing he was probably going to be hit once I walked out of the room, that’s the way it happened.
HOW HE PLANS ON MANAGING THE DESIGNATED HITTER SPOT
If you don’t have a DH of David Ortiz caliber you would like to be able to rotate guys through to get them off their feet while you keep their bat in the lineup just to keep guys fresh. I think a lot of people might point to Hanley as the guy who would assume or take over David’s role. But Hanley has done a very good job at first base. He’s still got a lot of years ahead of him just from a defensive standpoint. We have to pick our spots to get Hanley off his feet, but we’re not talking about somebody who is hampered in any way. He’s still capable of playing 140-plus games at first base. So we would like to keep that flexibility open and rotate guys through.
The one thing we don’t know is how the market is going to unfold … Personally, Pablo Sandoval, the work that he’s put in, I think he has a chance to impact our club in a strong way next year, and we need him to. This is a guy who has three years remaining with us and we need to make Pablo a productive player again. So the flexibility with the DH role, that would be an advantage for us.
WHAT HE IS LOOKING FOR IN AN 8TH-INNING RELIEVER
Ideally you have a guy who has the capability of closing games out. That doesn’t mean he’s been a front-line closer all ready. … When you have an eighth-inning guy that means he has put-away stuff, and he likely has a strikeout pitch … Where this pitcher comes from, it remains to be seen.
ON JOE KELLY AS A LATE-INNING RELIEVER
I think the role fits his personality.
ON WHO MIGHT PARTICIPATE IN THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
I think we’re going to have a pretty good number of guys. (Went on to mention Eduardo Rodriguez, Sandy Leon, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, Criag Kimbrel, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, and Rick Porcello as possibilities.)
ON RICK PORCELLO
He’s the most prepared pitcher I’ve ever been around.
Click below to listen to the entire interview with John Farrell