Red Sox begin extension talks with manager John Farrell

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Red Sox manager John Farrell could be getting a new contract this spring. Sean McAdam of CSN New England has the report …

Farrell is entering the final guaranteed year of the three-year deal he signed in November of 2012, and, according to an industry source, preliminary talks have already begun.

That contract includes a team option for 2016, so Farrell isn’t truly at the end of his deal. But the club evidently doesn’t want Farrell entering the 2015 season being viewed as a sort of lame-duck manager.

Boston stumbled to a last-place finish in the American League East last season with a record of 71-91, but Farrell guided the club to a World Series title in 2013 — his first year at the helm — and there’s hope for a return to prominence this season following an active winter of trades and free agent signings. Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, and Wade Miley are among the new faces in Red Sox camp this spring.

McAdam heard from an industry source that the Red Sox front office wants to “add length and security” to Farrell’s current contract, so this will likely go beyond merely exercising the skipper’s option for 2016.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).