John Farrell, Tim Bogar Lead List of Potential Red Sox Managers While Terry Francona a Long Shot

John Farrell, Tim Bogar Lead List of Potential Red Sox Managers While Terry Francona a Long ShotBobby Valentine has become the first Major League Baseball
manager to be fired after the end of the 2012 regular season, making the rumor mill churn about whom the Red Sox
will target to replace him.

It's no secret that Boston
wants to bring back former Sox pitching coach and current Blue Jays manager John Farrell. The Sox had targeted Farrell last
season, too. He knows and has the respect of most of the Red Sox
players — an issue that plagued Valentine — and the pitching
staff thrived under Farrell’s tutelage in Boston from 2007-2010.

But the Jays weren't going to let Farrell walk for nothing last offseason,
especially to a division rival, and likely won't again. Reports were
that Toronto was demanding Clay Buchholz as
compensation, which would have been an unprecedented level of
compensation.

Eventually, the Jays
simply denied permission last year and then changed the team policy for
coaches and management taking a job with another team, saying they would
allow movement only if it was a promotion and not a lateral move.

Toronto's
demands should be lower this offseason after the Jays
massively underachieved in 2012 with a 73-89 record, barely avoiding their first 90-loss season since 2004 thanks to a season-ending
three-game sweep of Minnesota.

Bovada
lists Farrell as the +200 favorite to be Boston's manager for Opening
Day 2013 as well as listing someone other than Farrell to be Toronto's
manager for Game 1 next spring as the -300 favorite. According to these odds, Farrell is just as likely to be the Red Sox manager as the Blue Jays (+200) come opening day.

The second-favorite for the Red
Sox' next manager is Tim Bogar at +400. Bogar, the Boston bench coach
this season and a rare holdover from the Terry Francona staff,
interviewed but didn't get the managing job with the Astros last month.
Bogar previously managed in Cleveland and Houston's minor-league
systems.

At +500 is Arnie Beyeler. While he likely won't be known
outside of Boston, Beyeler led Pawtucket to the International
League title this season, the first for the PawSox since 1984.

At
+600 are both Brad Ausmus and Dave Martinez. Ausmus, a Dartmouth
graduate and Connecticut native, was considered one of the most
intelligent players in baseball during his playing days behind the
plate. He recently managed Team Israel in its nearly successful bid to
qualify for the World Baseball Classic. Ausmus is a special
assistant for the Padres now, and the success of first-time major league manager
Mike Matheny, another former catcher, with St. Louis this season could go in Ausmus' favor.

Martinez, meanwhile, also
interviewed for the Astros job and is usually on most teams' short list
these days. He has learned as the bench coach under Tampa Bay's Joe
Maddon
and is considered by many to be a top manager in the game.

Torey
Lovullo
is at +800. He has been Farrell's first base coach the past two
years and also managed Pawtucket in 2010. Lovullo did land an interview
last November for the Red Sox job, and the Jays wouldn't be able to block
him from a move because it would be a promotion.

Rounding
out the betting candidates are Sandy Alomar Jr. (+900), Jason Varitek
(+1000) and Francona (+1500). Alomar finished the season as the Indians'
interim manager after Manny Acta was fired with six games to go. A long-time catcher for the Indians, Alomar is considered a top candidate for
that full-time Cleveland job and interviewed Thursday.

Varitek
apparently won't be a candidate. He recently took a position as a
special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington. Varitek will be on the search
committee for the new manager, but it's not hard to see him in the
Boston dugout in the future.

As for Francona, he clearly
won't be back in Beantown with the way things ended in 2011. In fact, he
interviewed for the Cleveland job on Friday. Francona worked as an
adviser in Cleveland's front office in 2001 and has made it clear he
would like to rejoin the franchise. Francona was an analyst on ESPN this
season.

Cleveland is likely to name a manager by next
week. Bovada lists Alomar and Francona as both even-money to get the
job. Any other candidate is +400.

Click here to see a photo gallery of possible managers for the Red Sox>>

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