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Martín Prado likely to retire

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Jon Heyman reports that 14-year veteran Martín Prado “has told friends he will likely retire.”

Seems about that time as Prado hit a mere .233/.265/.294 with two home runs and 15 RBI over 104 games and a -1.3 WAR with the Marlins in 2019. He’s 36 and that was his third straight year of decline. It’s probably time if, for no other reason, that he’s a free agent and it’s hard to imagine him getting any offers, even on a minor league deal.

Which is not to take away from what was a pretty spiffy career. Prado broke into the bigs with Atlanta in 2006 and was a full-time player from 2009 through 2016 for the Braves, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Marlins. In his best season, 2012, he posted a 5.4 WAR while hitting .301/.359/.438 while stealing 17 bases and playing excellent defense at third base. He had another 5 WAR season in 2010, the year of his only All-Star selection. If his career is, indeed, finished, it finishes with a line of .287/.335/.412 and over 1,500 hits.

Not too shabby.

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).