But Larry Lucchino was particularly impressed with Farrell's front office experience. From 2001 to 2006, the Red Sox manager served as Cleveland's director of player development.
From Lucchino and Ben Cherington's vantage point, that knowledge separated Farrell from the pack of interviewees that included Tony Pena, Tim Wallach, Brad Ausmus and DeMarlo Hale.
"I loved that, I loved that for five years he was a farm director comfortable with young players and player development," Lucchino said. "He was comfortable with people in the front office and knew their roles and responsibilities. It was one of the things that bounced off the page when you look.
"Sure, he was a major league manager for a couple years in the American League East, but he spent five years as a player development guy. That's the rock on which you build a church. We all know that."
With Farrell manning the minor leagues, the Indians were recognized with Organization of the Year honors in 2003 and 2004 by USA Today's Sports Weekly and were named baseball's top farm system by Baseball America in 2003.
Those accolades, along with Farrell's communication skills as the Red Sox' pitching coach from 2007 to 2010, convinced Cherington that the 50-year-old was the right man to steady the franchise's ship.
"I've always seen him do it," Cherington said. "I saw him do it as a farm director — build a farm system which was a model in the industry when he was Cleveland. I saw him do it here when he was a pitching coach. Saw him have very tough conversations with not just pitchers, but position players, with managers, with the front office.
"He is not afraid of the tough conversation."