Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/8/12

The Red Sox will almost certainly fire Bobby Valentine after the season and be in the market for a new manager. When he’s gone — which is expected to be when the season ends — whom will they target?

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that Blue Jays manager John Farrell is at the top of their list, and that Angels manager Mike Scioscia is also high on their list. Here are Nightengale’s exact words:

They already have their top choice to replace Valentine in John Farrell, according to a high-ranking official who requested anonymity because the Toronto Blue Jays manager is under contract. Farrell is beloved by the organization after serving as pitching coach from 2007 to 2010.

If they can’t pry away Farrell, who’ll be the focus of attention at Fenway Park today as the Blue Jays open a three-game series there, look for the Red Sox to turn to Mike Scioscia if he is fired by the Los Angeles Angels.

Would Farrell leave the Blue Jays for the Red Sox? If he feels it’s a better situation — which based on payrolls, it probably is — then he might. But he’s signed by Toronto through 2013, so I’m not sure how he’d escape the final year of his contract. And now that the Angels are playing well, Scioscia is less likely to be available. The only way he would be fired is if the Angels tank down the stretch. I could see him taking a year off if he does get canned, so I’d be surprised to see either man managing the Red Sox next year. But at least the report confirms what we suspected — Bobby Valentine won’t be back after the season.

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