The Boston Red Sox are feeling out the Toronto Blue Jays to learn the price of prying away manager John Farrell, the Boston Globe reported.
According to Globe writer Nick Cafardo, the Red Sox are beyond the preliminary stage in compensation talks with the Blue Jays.
Even so, the Red Sox continue to pursue other candidates in their managerial search. Baltimore Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale interviewed for the job Thursday, according to multiple media reports.
Farrell has managed Toronto for two years after spending five years as Boston's pitching coach. His tenure with the Red Sox included the team's 2007 World Series championship.
In Farrell's Toronto stint, the Blue Jays have gone 154-170. Farrell is under contract with the Jays for one more year.
Perhaps one strike against Farrell's possible return to Boston is his close ties with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona. The Red Sox organization tried to put the Francona era in the past after the team's September 2011 collapse. The team missed out on a playoff berth on the final day of the season, and the franchise's most successful manager of the past 80 years was subsequently removed.
The Red Sox are searching for a new manager after the horrific one-season stint of Bobby Valentine, whom they fired following a 69-93 season. Valentine led Boston to its worst record since 1965, and he managed to anger players and fans throughout a tumultuous campaign.
Other candidates who have been mentioned as possible candidates for the Boston job include Hale, New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus.
Hale was a coach in Boston under Francona from 2006-11 before landing in Baltimore.