10:01am: The Indians have now formally announced that both the 2019 and 2020 options on Francona’s contract have been exercised. The team also announced that Carlos Santana’s 2017 option has been exercised, as was previously reported yesterday and widely expected prior to that news.
9:15:am: The tweet in question has since been deleted, calling into question whether Francona’s options have or have not yet been picked up. The Indians had yet to make a formal announcement, though it remains entirely possible that such a move will ultimately come to fruition in light of the Indians’ excellent 2016 season.
9:00am: The Indians have exercised a pair of club options on manager Terry Francona that will extend his current contract through the 2020 season, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter). Francona’s previous contract with Cleveland had been slated to expire at the end of the 2018 campaign, but the team’s World Series run under his leadership prompted the club to make an even longer-term commitment in its skipper.
The 57-year-old Francona has been serving as Cleveland’s manager since the 2013 season, guiding the team to a winning record in each of those four seasons including a pair of 90+ win seasons and two postseason berths (this year’s World Series drive and a Wild Card loss in 2013). As manager of the Indians, Francona has compiled an impressive 352-294 record, with this most recent season undoubtedly representing his most impressive campaign.
The Indians not only made it to Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs (where they took part in an instant classic) — they did so without their best player, Michael Brantley, for much of the season and did so in spite of an injury-ravaged rotation late in the year. Cleveland didn’t receive a start from either Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar in the postseason and also had to deal with a highly abbreviated start from Trevor Bauer in the ALCS due to a bizarre finger injury. Francona, though, leaned heavily on ace Corey Kluber and some expert usage of bullpen stars Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in order to maximize the team’s chances throughout the duration of the playoffs.
While the end result of his managerial savvy certainly wasn’t what Francona or the Indians had hoped, it did nothing but reinforce the stellar reputation that Francona has amassed throughout his 16-year managerial career. Francona has previously served as the manager of the Phillies (1997-2000) and the Red Sox (2004-11), winning a pair of World Series in Boston. He has a lifetime record of 1381-1209 (.533 winning percentage) as a Major League manager.