ORLANDO, Fla. — The Sporting News has selected Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as baseball’s executive of year. He received 15 votes from a panel of 31 major league executives. Neal Huntington of the Pirates was second and Dayton Moore of the Royals was third.
The award has been given out since 1936. But only two Red Sox executives — owner Tom Yawkey (1946) and GM Dick O’Connell (1967 and ’75) — had won before Cherington.
“Definitely unexpected,” Cherington said. “I was telling people in the room that obviously I consider this an award for the organization and not for me.
“Coming off the year we had in 2012, I also sort of see it as usually an award that goes to an organization that does [good] work over a period of time and not necessarily one year. So it’s a great honor for the organization. It just speaks to the hard work that a lot of people have done.”
Cherington went on to thank the ownership, his staff, manager John Farrell, the coaches and players. But it was Cherington who engineered the rebuilding of the last-place Red Sox with a series of successful free agent signings last winter. Cherington also pushed for Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine as manager.
Cherington did not actually receive an award on Monday.
“They said something was going to come in the mail,” he said. “I don’t have anything to show you.”
The American League and National League managers of the year will be announced on Tuesday. Farrell, Cleveland’s Terry Francona and Bob Melvin of the Athletics are the three finalists.
The winner, which is selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, will be revealed on MLB Network at 6 p.m.