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Diamondbacks, Torey Lovullo agree to contract extension

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The Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday that the club and manager Torey Lovullo have agreed on a contract extension. Lovullo was entering the last year of a three-year contract. Per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the extension tacks on two years to the end of his current contract, so he’ll be with the D-Backs ostensibly through the 2021 season.

Lovullo, 53, has enjoyed success with the Diamondbacks since taking over in 2017. In his first season, he won NL Manager of the Year, leading the D-Backs to a 93-69 record. His team won its NL Wild Card game against the Rockies before being swept out of the NLDS by the Dodgers. In 2018, the D-Backs took a step back, finishing 82-80, but the club dealt with a plethora of injuries.

It will be interesting to see how Lovullo’s D-Backs fare in 2019 as Paul Goldschmidt was traded, while Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock left in free agency. The front office has insisted the club is not entering a rebuilding mode.

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).