Indians manager was given the 2016 American League Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He’s the first Indians manager to win the award since… himself, three years ago.
Francona, 57, managed the Indians to a 94-67 regular season record, good for first place in the AL Central. As BBWAA voting was done prior to the playoffs, his performance leading the team in the postseason was not considered. Francona did manage the Indians to their first AL pennant since 1997 and his club pushed the Cubs to a seventh game in the World Series before being defeated. Francona also had to deal with a litany of injuries to important players, including outfielder Michael Brantley as well as starters Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco.
Francona received 22 of 30 first-place votes. Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who won the award last year, finished second in balloting. Orioles manager Buck Showalter finished third, followed by John Farrell of the Red Sox, Joe Girardi of the Yankees, and Scott Servais of the Mariners.
The Phillies have released pitcher Matt Harrison to open up a spot on the 40-man roster, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. Harrison had $15.2 million remaining on his contract, more than half of which will be covered by insurance, Salisbury notes.
Harrison, 31, hasn’t pitched since July 2015 due to ongoing back issues. The 2012 American League All-Star has made a total of nine starts since the start of the 2013 season. The Phillies agreed to take on the remainder of his contract to help facilitate the Cole Hamels/Jake Diekman trade last year in which they received five young players: Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson, Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, and Nick Williams.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that reliever Joel Hanrahan is retiring. He’s the second reliever to retire tonight, joining Joe Thatcher. Nightengale adds that Hanrahan still hopes to be involved in baseball after retiring.
Hanrahan, 35, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and again in 2015, but he couldn’t make it back. The right-hander was originally selected in the second round of the 2000 draft by the Dodgers and pitched in the majors over parts of seven seasons with the Nationals, Pirates, and Red Sox. Hanrahan saved 100 games with a 3.85 ERA and a 441/198 K/BB ratio in 404 2/3 career innings.