It was reported earlier this week that the Red Sox and manager John Farrell were having preliminary talks regarding a contract extension. It didn’t take them long to get something done:
Farrell was previously set to enter the final guaranteed year of his contract, which also included a club option for 2016. It was very unlikely that the Red Sox would have let him go into this season with “lame duck” status, so this extension takes care of that situation.
The Red Sox finished in last place in the American League East last season with a 71-91 record, but they won the World Series in Farrell’s first season as manager in 2013 and hopes are high for this year after the additions of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson over the winter.
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).