INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The Red Sox hope to hire a hitting coach sometime next week. Then they'll probably hire another one.
Manager John Farrell said Wednesday that his preference would be to hire a hitting coach and an assistant hitting coach. That is a path many teams are taking.
"That would be the preference, to go with two guys," Farrell said. "The consistency of message is what matters most.
"When you look at what the hitting coach is required to do and the amount of time spent in the cage in addition to preparing for an opponent on a given night or for a given series, I think it has evolved into more than a one-man system, one-man setup and we're moving in that direction."
Farrell said interviews should start this weekend. The Red Sox need to replace Dave Magadan, who left for Texas.
"It's our goal to have the best staff possible, one that's in place in a relatively short period of time," Farrell said.
General manager Ben Cherington agreed with the idea of going with two hitting coaches.
"I think there ought to be some philosophical alignment but perhaps a different personality, a different background," he said. "I think both ways can work.
"There's some guys — and Mags was one of them — who can do a good job on their own. But it's a big job. We're considering this approach."
Cherington said the Red Sox are making progress with a bullpen coach. Incumbent Gary Tuck, who doubles as the catching instructor, remains a possibility.
"Hopefully we'll have something to announce soon," Cherington said.
Butterfield in play
New Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, who was hired Oct. 30, remains at least a peripheral candidate to manage the Blue Jays. Butterfield spoke to the Blue Jays before he was hired by the Red Sox. He spent 11 years with Toronto as a coach. The Red Sox hired Butterfield knowing there was at least some chance that he could get the Toronto job. The Blue Jays are more likely to hire a manager with experience.
The Red Sox need outfielders, so the news that the Mets released injury-plagued Jason Bay and negotiated a deal to pay the $21 million remaining on his contract caught Cherington's attention. Bay was a productive player for the Red Sox after being acquired in 2008, hitting .274 with 45 home runs and 156 RBIs in 200 games. He left as a free agent following the 2009 season. "Certainly surprised it didn't go better for him in New York," Cherington said. "He's a terrific guy. He was a great player for a long time." Would the Red Sox have an interest? "We haven't talked about it yet," Cherington said. "Wouldn't rule anything out." . . . Cherington said the organization is planning to keep its minor league managers in place. Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler is a candidate to become the first base coach.