Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Red Sox introduce John Farrell as manager

The Boston Red Sox have hired John Farrell away from the Toronto Blue Jays to be the team's new manager, and given him a four-year deal.

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John Farrell believes Sox can contend in '13

The Boston Red Sox formally introduced John Farrell as their new manager on Tuesday afternoon, and Boston's new skipper isn't looking at 2013 as a rebuilding year. Farrell believes the Red Sox can contend in 2013 – if Boston's core players play like they're capable.

Farrell spoke at length about contending and what needs to happen, at his introductory press conference via WEEI 97.3 FM:

"With the roster that's there now, there's a core group there that you can build around. I think a couple of things will need to happen [to contend in 2013]. Certain players return to the form and the performance that they've established for themselves, and not just a one-year situation – guys who have estabilished a cereer path and a career record of being above average and get the guys back who were taken out because of injury, to get them back fully healthy and then whatever additions are brought forward into this group,"

Boston will certainly need players like Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury to return to form in 2013 if they're going to compete, and will need young players such as Will Middlebrooks to continue to develop at the Major League level.

Whether or not Boston contends in 2013 also depends largely on how general manager Ben Cherington attacks this offseason. After trading Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford, the Red Sox suddenly have money to play with in free agency – if they choose to do so.

Still, Red Sox fans have to be encouraged to hear Boston's new skipper talk about contending, after an absolutely miserable 2012 season.

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Red Sox officially announce hiring of John Farrell

The Boston Red Sox officially announced the hiring of manager John Farrell in a press release Sunday.

Boston signed Farrell, the team's pitching coach from 2007 to 2010 before taking the job as manager for the Blue Jays, to a three-year deal.

As compensation to the Toronto Blue Jays, who still had Farrell under contract through next season, the Red Sox sent shortstop Mike Aviles to Toronto. The Red Sox also received relief pitcher David Carpenter in the deal.

"I'm extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston," said Farrell in a press 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 led the Blue Jays to an 81-81 record in his first season with the club in 2011. Last season, Toronto finished 73-89.

During his time as pitching coach, Boston's pitching staff held opponents to an American League-low .254 batting average and led the league with 4,771 strikeouts.

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