BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox experienced an abrupt ending to their 2016 postseason, but they won’t be enduring an offseason filled with speculation on the manager’s job security.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski opened his season-ending press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park by stating that John Farrell will be returning to the Red Sox in 2017.
“I just spoke to John when he left here, and John Farrell will be our manager for 2017. So he’s all set and his entire staff will be welcome back. We anticipate they will be back,” Dombrowski said. “I just thought that for me, John has done a fine job this year. I’ve been happy working with him myself. I think he has the respect of the clubhouse. We played hard, we won a division title. We communicate well with one another.
“So with me it’s like one of those decisions, some decisions you need to address as quickly as possible because you know how important they are.”
Farrell is under contract through the 2017 season, and the team holds an option for 2018. Dombrowski said a decision on that option year has not yet been decided, and he also added that such a decision is not entirely up to him.
“We have an option for 2018, however at this point, something of that magnitude I need to sit down with ownership and discuss that,” Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski was asked about the status of bench coach Torey Lovullo, who signed a contract last offseason in which he forewent any opportunities to interview for any managerial jobs. This year, however, Dombrowski said that Lovullo is free to interview if a team requests.
“I hope he stays with us, but I also understand that if people come asking to talk to Torey, we’d grant that,” Dombrowski said.
The performance of Farrell’s teams has gone up and down over the years, but the former pitching coach’s in-game strategy has often come under fire from fans and media alike. Dombrowski said that area of management is not his No. 1 priority.
“I do not feel that in-game strategy is the biggest thing as a manager. I think it’s important but there are other things that are probably more important. As I’ve often told managers, to me the most important thing for a manager is that the club plays up to their capabilities day in and day out, which means they’re communicating with their player,” Dombrowski said.
He added that he’s seen the likes of Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre all make different decisions in the same situation, all with different reasons.
“I think it’s most important that they are able to have a reason why they’re doing it,” Dombrowski said. “And so for me, there’s a lot of different ways to go about that. And I think it’s about having a pulse of your personnel and what works for you.”
Farrell has led the Red Sox for four seasons. Two ended with a first-place finish in the division — and a World Series title in 2013 — while two have ended in last place. Overall, the Red Sox are 339-309 under Farrell, with an 11-8 postseason record.