Boston Red Sox director of player development Mike Hazen confirmed Tuesday that the process to find Pawtucketâ€™s next manager is already under way. The vacancy was created when Torey Lovullo left to become Torontoâ€™s first base coach on Monday.
â€śWeâ€™ve already started to put together a list,â€ť Hazen said via cell phone. â€śCertainly within the list you have to stay somewhat flexible because of (potential coaching shifts at the major league level). As a result more candidates could become available as those situations play out.â€ť
Hazen noted that there is no specific timetable for when the PawSox will have a new manager in place. Last year the Red Sox hired Ron Johnson, who managed in Pawtucket from 2005-09, to become the teamâ€™s first base coach on Nov. 23. Seven days later Lovullo was named Johnsonâ€™s successor.
â€śWeâ€™ll do a lot of background work and hopefully hire the next good one,â€ť Hazen said.
This marks the second straight offseason season the PawSox are looking to fill the same two coaching positions: manager and hitting coach. The latter spot opened up when Gerald Perry accepted to become Oaklandâ€™s hitting coach last month.
â€śItâ€™s certainly a challenge from a continuity standpoint. Obviously we believe in maintaining that,â€ť said Hazen when asked if this felt like dĂ©jĂ vu. â€śAt the same time you want to have the most talented coaching staff that you can. Thereâ€™s a balance there. It will be a challenge, but it will be no different than any other year.â€ť
The sentiment out there was that once Toronto hired Farrell, it would only be a matter of time before an invitation was extended to Lovullo for him to join Farrellâ€™s staff. The two had worked closely together in Cleveland, Farrell as the farm director with Lovullo serving as the Triple-A manager.
â€śI think when youâ€™re dealing with a quality coach like Torey, it doesnâ€™t really who the manager is. The connection isnâ€™t necessarily the first thing you think of,â€ť said Hazen. â€śYou probably know youâ€™re on borrowed time the second you hire him and that turned out to be the case, but we wouldnâ€™t trade in the year we had with Torey for anything. We saw a lot of great things on the field in Pawtucket from a development standpoint.â€ť
If Lovulloâ€™s hiring revealed anything, itâ€™s that the Red Sox are not afraid of looking outside the organization for potential minor-league personal. Still, it will be interesting to see if current Double-A manager Arnie Beyeler receives consideration. The Portland Press Herald reported Tuesday that Beyeler did not receive an interview when Johnson was added to Terry Franconaâ€™s staff.