Johnson, Melvin earn honor
Davey Johnson of the Washington Nationals, and Bob Melvin of the Oakland Athletics were chosen as managers of the year on Tuesday after guiding their teams to huge turnaround seasons.
Melvin beat out Baltimore’s Buck Showalter for the AL honor in a close vote by a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. Under Melvin, the A’s made a 20-game improvement, finished 94-68 and won the AL West.
Johnson was an easy choice for the NL prize after the Nationals — who had never enjoyed a winning year — posted the best record in the majors and made their first playoff appearance.
Johnson, who turns 70 in January, was honored for the second time. He was tabbed as the AL’s top manager in 1997, hours after he resigned from the Orioles in a feud with owner Peter Angelos.
This time, Johnson will get awhile to enjoy the accolade.
The Nationals announced this month that he will guide them in 2013, when he will be the oldest manager in the majors. He’s set to leave the Washington dugout and become a team consultant in 2014.
“World Series or bust,” Johnson said on the MLB Network. “It’s going to be my last year, anyway.”
Melvin also became a two-time winner, having been chosen in 2007 with Arizona.
Melvin got 16 first-place votes. Showalter got the other 12 firsts, and Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox finished third.
Phillies sign Frandsen
The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract with third baseman Kevin Frandsen.
The Phillies announced the move on Tuesday. Frandsen had been eligible for salary arbitration.
Frandsen hit .338 with 10 doubles, 14 RBI and a .383 on-base percentage in 55 games last season. He also hit .302 in 99 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Cubs sign veteran Baker
The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with former Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Baker that guarantees $5.5 million next season.
The veteran right-hander could earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses. The Cubs announced the move Tuesday.
Baker was 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA with Minnesota from 2005-11. He underwent Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery April 17 and missed last season after being limited to 23 appearances (21 starts) in 2011.