Red Sox option Allen Craig to AAA Pawtucket

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The move is official, via beat writer Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe …

Craig went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Saturday’s loss to the Blue Jays, dropping his season slash line to .135/.237/.192. Since last year’s trade that sent him from St. Louis to Boston, the 30-year-old outfielder is batting .130/.235/.192 with 53 strikeouts in 166 plate appearances. This from a guy who ranked among the most productive hitters in baseball between 2011-2013. Craig really hasn’t been the same since suffering a Lisfranc injury while running the bases in late 2013. And the Red Sox still owe him $26.5 million.

Joe Kelly, the other piece from that trade with the Cardinals, walked seven batters and surrendered six earned runs over 5 2/3 innings Saturday in Toronto. He has a 6.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in six outings this year. John Lackey, meanwhile, boasts a 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in six starts for St. Louis. On a $507,000 salary.

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).