Francona signs two-year extension with Indians
Manager Terry Francona has signed a two-year contract extension with the Cleveland Indians.
There are questions surrounding the Indians' commitment to their best players, but there is no doubting how they feel about Francona.
Cleveland announced on Wednesday a deal has been sealed to keep 'Tito' with the club through the 2022 season.
“Simply put, Tito has been a transformational leader, who has not only impacted our major league clubhouse, but also the entire organization," Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said.
“Our relationship has been truly collaborative, and we are all fortunate to have a future Hall of Fame manager guiding our team as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of bringing a World Series to the city of Cleveland.”
Francona, 59, and the Indians are an AL-best 547-427 (.562) since he joined the team in 2013 and have made the playoffs four times, including a trip to the World Series in 2016.
He has been named AL Manager of the Year twice in his Cleveland tenure (2013 and 2016).
Cleveland’s success has come in spite of its meagre payroll, which ranks 19th in MLB this season at just under $120 million. But Francona, who has the luxury of having stars like Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez on team-friendly deals, has enjoyed bringing consistent success to a mid-market club.
“I knew what the landscape was when I came in. I just valued working with the people here over spending money for players," Francona said in March.
"I mean, I enjoyed doing it here with who I do it with and trying to figure things out together. And I think to this point, we haven't reached the pinnacle, but we’ve done okay. And the idea is to win a World Series. But, on top of that, it's to compete every year. And that's hard to do."
Prior to Cleveland, Francona spent eight seasons in Boston and won the World Series twice. That success came after a disappointing four-year run with the Phillies from 1997-2000, when Philadelphia had a 285-363 record.
He ranks second among active managers with 1,576 career wins, behind only San Francisco Giants' Bruce Bochy (1,928).