Farrell will have to manage buzz in Boston

Farrell will have to manage buzz in Boston

Farrell will have to manage buzz in Boston
TORONTO -- John Farrell is expected to become the center of attention when the Blue Jays travel to Boston on Friday for the start of a three-game series.

Farrell's name has been linked to the Red Sox in recent weeks, with Boston manager Bobby Valentine currently under fire for overseeing an underachieving club.

Reports out of Boston have listed Farrell as a top candidate if Valentine is not brought back next season. Despite constant denials by Farrell -- and a recent policy change by the Blue Jays -- the rumours won't seem to go away.

"As I've said repeatedly when it's come up, my focus is clearly here with the Blue Jays," Farrell said. "I'm under contract, obviously. I can understand there can be a natural connection, because I've worked there in the past, but my focus and my commitment has been here and is here, unequivocally."

Farrell also surfaced as a managerial candidate in Boston prior to Valentine's hire. That prompted general manager Alex Anthopoulos to adopt a policy change, which now states that employees under contract are not permitted to leave for another organization unless it involves a promotion.

Previously, the Blue Jays allowed its employees to make lateral moves, but the policy was altered in order to put an end to seemingly endless speculation surrounding Farrell. The decision hasn't appeared to work out, as the rumours continue to persist and have the potential to reach an all-time high at the end of the year.

Farrell, whose contract details were never officially revealed by the club, confirmed on Tuesday that he is signed through the 2013 season. It appears unlikely that the Blue Jays would want to enter next year without inking Farrell to an extension, which is the one thing that would put the media speculation to rest once and for all.

The 50-year-old Farrell served as Boston's pitching coach for four seasons prior to joining the Blue Jays after the 2010 season. He was once looked upon as the heir-apparent to former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who parted ways with the organization last offseason.