Red Sox expected to option Allen Craig to Triple-A

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Update (7:48 PM EST): Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox will option Craig to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Red Sox are expected to do something with struggling outfielder Allen Craig by Sunday, Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. “Something” could include a trade or an option to the minor leagues. As Craig has yet to accrue five years of service time, the Red Sox can option him without his consent.

Craig, 30, joined the Red Sox along with starter Joe Kelly in the John Lackey trade at the deadline last season. He struggled in 107 plate appearances with the Red Sox through the end of the regular season, posting a .425 OPS. He hasn’t been any better to start the 2015 campaign, batting .146/.255/.208 with one home run and two RBI in 55 PA.

Craig signed a five-year, $31 million contract extension with the Cardinals in March 2013. He’ll earn $5.5 million this season and a combined $34 million between 2016-18.

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).