Indians' Antonetti named Sporting News Executive of the Year
Cleveland Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti has been named the 2017 Sporting News Executive of the Year after building a club that won an American League record 22 consecutive games en route to a second straight division title.
The award was voted on by a panel of executives from around baseball, and was presented to Antonetti on Monday at the general manager's meetings.
Antonetti's moves following the Indians' run to the World Series one year ago paved the way for their successful 2017 campaign. In addition to making a surprising splash in free agency last winter by inking All-Star Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal, the 43-year-old Georgetown graduate swung multiple midseason trades to acquire the likes of outfielder Jay Bruce and reliever Joe Smith to improve the club's fortunes down the stretch.
Antonetti's winning moves weren't limited to bringing in quality talent, either. Just before Opening Day he inked Jose Ramirez - now a finalist for AL MVP - to a team-friendly five-year extension that delayed his free agency and ensured Ramirez will remain in Cleveland through at least the 2021 season.
Though they were ultimately eliminated in the division series, the Indians won an AL-best 102 regular-season games - the franchise's best total since 1954's 111-win campaign - and ran off a 22-game win streak during the final two months of the season that now ranks as the second-longest in baseball history.
Antonetti is the sixth Indians executive to win the award, joining Hall of Famer Bill Veeck (1948), John Hart (1994 and '95), and Mark Shapiro (2005 and '07).
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