The Cincinnati Reds made a major front office move, hiring former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell in a scouting and advising position.
According to multiple reports, Farrell will evaluate the Reds pitching staff and give a thorough evaluation of its farm system.
Farrell was a career 586-548 as a manager from 2011 to 2017. After one season with the Toronto Blue Jays, he was hired as manager of the Boston Red Sox before the 2013 season, leading the team to its third World Series win since 2004. With the Red Sox, he was 432-378 with a .533 winning percentage. He was 12-11 in playoff games.
Farrell’s hiring give another hard spin to the rumor mill surrounding Reds current manager Bryan Price. Price is rumored to be on the hot seat if the team doesn’t show improvement early in the season. Potential replacements for Price are Delino DeShields, the former Dayton Dragons manager who managed in AA Pensacola for the Reds and AAA Louisville. He’s currently a roving instructor, a position that would allow him to move into a manager role without having a domino affect across the organization.
Barry Larkin is also a favorite for the job. Larkin has been an instructor and assistant to the general manager after leaving ESPN. The Hall of Famer shortstop led the Reds to a World Series title in 1990, and is a favorite of longtime Reds fans and, according to reports, owner Bob Castellini to take over the position if Price leaves or is fired.
Adding Farrell gives the Reds more options at replacing price, but it also provides the team with a set of eyes needed to evaluate its minor league system. The Red Sox have had the premier farm system in the league since the mid-2000s and dealt with a analytics friendly approach favored by current Reds GM Dick Williams.
Farrell had Stage 1 lymphoma in August 2015. He was replaced the rest of the season by bench coach Torey Lovullo. He returned to managing at the beginning of the 2016 season.