BOSTON — When John Farrell is announced as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox, he will take over a last-place team reeling from 13 months of player revolt.
He has Bobby Valentine to thank for that.
Valentine didn't accomplish much in his 10 months as Red Sox manager, but he certainly made it easier for his successor. Instead of taking over for two-time World Series champion Terry Francona, Farrell inherits a team with nowhere to go but up.
"I have empathy for what's going on (in Boston) because we've dealt with probably an equal number of injuries to marquee players, to a rotation," Farrell said in September when he visited Fenway Park with Toronto as manager of the Blue Jays. "And, as a result, you have to always deal with change."
Farrell became the change in both clubhouses on Saturday night when he decided to leave Toronto and agreed to a three-year deal to take over in Boston. The Red Sox will send infielder Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays as compensation, according to a baseball official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
Farrell's hiring is expected to be announced on Sunday or Monday. The teams worked out the deal late Saturday night, but the announcement was delayed because of the unusual logistics of hiring a manager under contract with another team, according to another baseball official familiar with the negotiations.
Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Kenn said the team had no announcement to make on Saturday and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday. Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse did not respond to a voice mail seeking comment.