BOSTON — The Red Sox hope two big trades will help them get back to the playoffs after missing them three years in a row.
The first was a genuine blockbuster during the regular season that sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, former Rays LF Carl Crawford, INF Nick Punto and RHP Josh Beckett to the Dodgers and freed more than $250 million in future salaries. The second was the deal that brought John Farrell back to Fenway Park on Sunday.
The Red Sox hired Farrell to be their manager after pursuing him for more than a year, agreeing to trade INF Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays to pry their former pitching coach out of the manager's chair in Toronto.
"I'm extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston," Farrell said in a statement. "I love this organization. It's a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us."
Farrell had been Toronto's manager for two seasons, going 154-170 with two fourth-place finishes in the AL East. He had one year left on his contract with the Blue Jays, which allowed them to demand compensation from Boston.
GIAMBI TO MANAGE? Slugger Jason Giambi is a legitimate candidate to become the Rockies' next manager and is willing to retire as a player to get the job, the Denver Post reported. Giambi, 41, had an impressive interview Thursday and is expected to have another meeting, the Post said.
JAPANESE STAR COMING TO U.S.: Japanese high school RHP Shohei Otani said he will pursue a career in the United States instead of turning professional in Japan. The 6-foot-4 Otani, 18, has thrown a fastball between 99 and 100 mph.