FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell isn’t the only key Red Sox management figure with a contract that runs beyond the 2015 season.
According to multiple major league sources, Ben Cherington has a contract that extends beyond the 2015 season. While the precise duration of his contract term is not known, he has received an extension to the original deal that he signed to be the Red Sox GM in October 2011.
Cherington, at a press conference on Saturday discussing the extension given to manager John Farrell through the 2017 season, characterized his own status as a non-issue.
“I’m under contract. I have a contract,” said Cherington. “We understand that contracts for people in uniform are important and need to be discussed. We feel, I think I’m speaking for ownership, for the leadership of the organization, I feel fortunate to be a part of, we’re all working together to try and do the same thing, that’s be successful. I have a contract. I’m in good shape. There’s no issue. Glad to be working with [principal owner John Henry] and the rest of the group.”
Club COO Sam Kennedy echoed Cherington’s view of the GM’s contract status.
“I would just echo what Ben said, that he’s under contract with us and very happy to be under contract,” said Kennedy. “We are happy that he is under contract.”
He’s been in charge of the most volatile major league run in club history, having led baseball operations through a three-year period that has witnessed two last-place finishes as well as a championship in 2013. Despite the Sox’ disappointment in the wake of its 2014 post-title slide, the team’s chief decision-makers — Henry (who owns the Globe), chairman Tom Werner, president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and Fenway Sports Group president Michael Gordon — remained convinced of his leadership and decision-making abilities.
“John and Larry and my faith in Ben is as strong today as it was last October,” Werner said at the end of the 2014 season. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t all share in the responsibility of the decisions that were made. … [But] I think that stability is really important and I have a lot of confidence that Ben will be extremely successful going forward.”
That outlook is evidently the case not just for the coming year but beyond.
“I don’t know all the general managers personally in baseball but I know a lot of them. Ben ranks right up there if not as the best then as one of the very best in the game. He’s got the full confidence and support of John and Tom and Larry and Mike and everyone in ownership. He’s extremely well-regarded internally and externally,” said Kennedy. “We’re colleagues, so I’m obviously biased, but he’s an amazing colleague.
“He’s extremely collaborative. His work ethic is second to none. He’s exceptionally talented. He worked his way up the ladder. Any time you have someone who starts as an intern and sees all the different areas of baseball operations and the front office, it positions them for success. He’s a great leader and a great colleague. I can’t speak for ownership, but from where I sit, he’s just a superstar and I feel lucky that we have him and that we work together.”