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.
Blue Jays activate Gose, Beck
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added outfielder Anthony Gose and right-hander Chad Beck to their active roster prior to Tuesday night's game against Baltimore.
Both players were en route from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day and arrived at Rogers Centre just prior to first pitch. Gose pinch-hit during the eighth inning, while Beck surrendered two runs in the 12-0 loss.
Gose and Beck represent the final additions to the Blue Jays' September callups and join left-hander Brett Cecil, who was promoted on Monday.
"Similar to the way he was used prior to being sent out," manager John Farrell said, when asked how Gose would be used. "He played right field pretty much against right-handed pitching, center field when Colby [Rasmus] was down. It would be a similar situation."
The Blue Jays are still expected to activate at least a couple of players from the disabled list within the next couple of weeks. Catcher J.P. Arencibia appears set to join the club on Friday in Boston after missing the past six weeks with a fractured right hand, while first baseman David Cooper is also nearing a return from a sore back.
Third baseman Brett Lawrie is taking part in batting practice and baseball-related activities in Florida, but there is still no immediate timetable for his return to the lineup. Despite the uncertainty, the Blue Jays remain optimistic he'll be activated before the end of the year.
The one surprise in Tuesday's news was that utilityman Yan Gomes will not be among those called up to the big leagues. Gomes appeared in 33 games for the Blue Jays this season, hitting .165 with three homers and 10 RBIs.
Gomes is primarily a catcher, but also has the ability to play first, third and left field. His return -- or lack thereof -- is directly related to the improving health of Arencibia.
"Yeah, that's had a direct impact on the third catcher," Farrell said.
Cecil as reliever still a work in progress
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays won't get a true feel for how Brett Cecil handles his transition to the bullpen until he starts coming into games with runners on base.
Cecil, who pitched in relief on Monday for the first time since 2009, is expected to be eased into his new role. He came out to start the eighth against Baltimore and was relied upon for two innings as the club monitors how quickly he is able to get ready out of the bullpen.
Once the Blue Jays are satisfied with the adjustment, Cecil likely will start seeing more opportunities that are typically associated with a late-inning lefty.
"We'll get the best look we can," manager John Farrell said. "Yesterday was a little bit different situation, we're looking to finish the game out to get two innings. There will be opportunities that we come up with, there's a lineup arrangement where you have left-right-left through a three-hitter span we might get a better read on.
"I think until he probably gets four or five appearances under his belt, then you get a better read on how quick he can get ready and how does he bounce back physically."
Cecil is potentially auditioning for a role on the big league club next season. The Blue Jays haven't completely ruled out a potential starting job, but appear to be moving closer to a full-time role out of the bullpen.
In order to secure that spot, Cecil will have to handle coming in for pivotal situations and taking very little time to get fully adjusted to the game.
"Inherited runners, whether or not there's a tangible measurement to how a guy performs over time, sure you can see if he shuts an inning off," Farrell said. "But in those key spots, against middle-of-the-order type guys, we'll hopefully get a read on that."