D-backs agree to contract extension with manager Torey Lovullo
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday they have agreed to a contract extension with manager Torey Lovullo.
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) January 29, 2019
The extension is adding two more seasons onto Lovullo’s current deal, per The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan. The manager originally signed a three-year deal to run the D-backs in 2016, meaning this upcoming season would have been his last on that contract. That runs Lovullo’s deal through the 2021 season.
“To be honest, it wasn’t anything I was really thinking about,” Lovullo said Wednesday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “My initial thought was to honor the contract and give it my all until the day it expired. But I’m thankful for the leadership group and ownership to kind of eliminate any of that stress or wonder and put it behind us.
“We have one thing that we want to do every single day and that’s go out and compete and get better so we win a world championship. I think that will give us a chance to lay down our concepts and keep moving forward.”
Under Lovullo the past two seasons, the D-backs have posted a record of 175-149. The 2017 BBWAA NL Manager of the Year led the team to the NL Wild Card Game that year, where they defeated the Colorado Rockies before being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series.
“Torey’s leadership and ability to connect with people, specifically our players and coaches, provides the foundation for the culture we continue to cultivate and grow in Arizona.” said D-backs executive vice president & general manager Mike Hazen in a press release. “This is an exciting day for Torey, his family and the D-backs. We can’t wait to get started at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in two weeks.”
After a hot start to the 2018 season and a hold over the National League West for most of the season, Arizona collapsed in the second half of the season and finished 82-80.
Lovullo, 53, will be without several key pieces in 2019. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, left-handed starting pitcher Patrick Corbin signed a $140 million contract with the Washington Nationals and center fielder A.J. Pollock signed with the division rival Dodgers.
Notable names set to return for the D-backs in the 2019 season include outfielder David Peralta and starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray. Infielder Eduardo Escobar was signed to an extension while catcher Carson Kelly and starting pitcher Luke Weaver were the two biggest pieces the D-backs received in the Goldschmidt deal.
“My demands are still going to be the same, nothing’s going to change internally. We have some new parts, and we know that,” Lovullo said. “As much as it hurt to let some of these guys go elsewhere, it’s just the nature of the game.
“But what it will mean is that we have to be a little bit better, a little bit sharper, and we love that challenge. Players are going to have to step up, the front office and myself, we’re going to have to get a little bit better and a little bit sharper in every area. We like that.”
As the eighth manager in franchise history, Lovullo was the quickest manager in D-backs history to reach 100 wins.
“He should’ve been [extended],” reliever Archie Bradley said Wednesday when asked about it. “Just like him, we have the same thought, like, we’re here hopefully for the long haul. We want to win a World Series here. I think we’re going to be a lot better than people think we are. And I’m excited to get going.”