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Billy Beane named Executive of the Year

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Oakland Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane was voted Major League Baseball Executive of the Year yesterday. It was the inaugural vote for this newly-created award.

Each team got one vote, which had to be submitted before the end of the regular season. I’d be curious to hear from the voters what criteria they used, but I doubt they’ll say so. Given Beane’s win, one might suspect that it is a lot like the Manager of the Year Award, which is usually based on expectations. No one expected the A’s to win, they did, they did it with a low payroll and, voila.

Heck, now that I think about it, I wonder if MLB executives awarding someone who had success with a low payroll doesn’t carry with it a whole other bag of insights regarding what, exactly, MLB executives value, but I suppose we’ll leave that for another rant.

Beane, 56, has headed baseball operations for the A’s since after the 1997 season, first as general manager, and in his current role since the end of the 2015 season.

Giants sign Drew Smyly to one-year deal

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The Giants announced on Thursday that the club inked pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year contract. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, the contract is of the major league variety.

Smyly, 30, split last season between the Rangers and Phillies with a stint with the Brewers in between. He did not appear in a major league game with the Brewers. In aggregate, Smyly posted a 6.24 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 55 walks over 114 innings.

Smyly will vie for a spot at the back of the Giants’ starting rotation. If he doesn’t make the cut, he could work out of the bullpen. Pitching in the spacious confines of Oracle Park should help Smyly, who gave up 19 homers in Texas and 13 in Philly last season in more hitter-friendly parks.