Getty Images

Tony Clark gets contract extension, to lead the union through at least 2022

11 Comments

Tony Clark took over as Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association since 2013. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that he just got a contract extension that will keep him in the post through at least 2022. That puts him in the position beyond the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement which expires on December 1, 2021.

Having certainty and security in the role is important for everyone involved at this point. As noted, we are three years out from the expiration of the current CBA and, based on general dissatisfaction by many players and agents with it, there will be a lot of work to do in the very short term to get the large and dispersed union membership all on the same page and ready to bargain for a better one. The union simply cannot be in the business of messing with its leadership structure in 2019 and 2020. It’d be a waste of valuable time.

That said, it was Clark who was responsible for the negotiation of the current bad CBA and there are many around the game who speculated that his job could be in jeopardy as a result. Based on the MLBPA board voting to extend Clark, those doing the speculating and those in charge of his job security are apparently a different group of people.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

Mary DeCicco/MLB via Getty Images
Leave a comment

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).