Diamondbacks Extend Torey Lovullo Another Year; Contract to Run through 2024

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Extend Torey Lovullo through 2024

PHOENIX, June 4 — The Torey Lovullo Era will continue through at least the end of 2024 after the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed with him on a contract extension. News first broke Saturday night from Steve Gilbert of MLB.com and was confirmed through a Sunday morning press conference.

Torey Lovullo came to Arizona in November of 2016, shortly after the Diamondbacks hired Mike Hazen as their general manager. Lovullo led the Diamondbacks to a 93–69 record and a Wild Card berth in 2017, his first year. They defeated the Colorado Rockies, 11–8, in the Wild Card Game before bowing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-game Division Series sweep. For his efforts, Lovullo earned NL Manager of the Year.

The team had two more winning seasons in ’18 and ’19 before struggling with the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, the team went into a tailspin, losing 40 of 45 at one point en route to a 52–110 record, tied with the 2004 team for the worst record in team history. Near the end of that season, Lovullo received an extension, with management saying the team’s struggles were not Lovullo’s fault at all. The extension was for a year with a one-year option for 2023, one that the team picked up near the end of the 2022 season. Lovullo has led the team to a 35–24 record to start the 2023 season, tied with the Dodgers for the best record in both the NL West and the entire National League.

Torey Lovullo and How He Connects

Embed from Getty Images

A big part of Lovullo’s success is how he connects with others, players and coaches alike. “He has grown tremendously as a manager in the sense of pushing these guys in ways that he uses those relationships that he builds (and) invests in in a very positive manner,” general manager Mike Hazen said. “But he’s tough on these guys too. He holds them accountable. And that’s something that we felt was we needed to continue to grow with as we transition from a veteran team…to the team that we have now.”

Hazen added later, “We’ve had to transition how we were operating, even off the field. Ensuring the development of these guys into winning baseball players, the development of their skills, was non-negotiable. And he’s done a very good job with that.”

Lovullo personifies the axiom “They don’t care what you know until they know you care.” He has played for several great managers. Obviously, Lovullo has picked up traits from all these managers, even subconsciously. But when asked if there are any that stand out, Lovullo mentioned current Cleveland Guardians manager Terry Francona, for whom Lovullo played while with the Philadelphia Phillies. Not surprisingly, Lovullo mentioned how much Francona cares for his players. “He was probably 15 or 20 years ahead of everybody else because of his ability to communicate,” Lovullo said. “…he just cared about the player. On a deeper level, I felt like he legitimately loved me. I was the 24th, 25th guy on the roster and basically stunk. For whatever reason, he made me feel like I could hang my hat on the moon. That was an unbelievable quality that I carry around every single day.”

Timing of the Decision

Embed from Getty Images

The decision came shortly after Lovullo said in a radio interview that he loves Arizona and would sign a “lifetime contract” if he could. Hazen said he had been talking with President & CEO Derrick Hall and Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick about extending Lovullo. With how the team has been playing so far, Hazen, Hall, and Kendrick wanted to continue having Lovullo lead the club. “The degree of preparation we see that goes in this with Torey and his coaching staff is an asset of ours,” Hazen said. In addition, “the way the team plays for him has been fairly consistent, even in the seasons where it hasn’t gone extremely well from a win-loss standpoint. It’s something we’re culturally looking to continue, to make sure he’s here every day for us.”

Hazen also wanted to make sure “the investments he has made in the players” can “be made back.” A big part of the team’s current success has been the younger players who are just now making the majors, such as Corbin Carroll. Lovullo has been with these players during their entire development in the minors. This did not seem possible in 2021, but Lovullo kept telling himself to ride it out. “I just wanted to stay the course,” Lovullo said. “Because I knew guys like Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson, Tommy Henry, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas — just to name a few, I’m sorry if I forgot some — I knew they were coming. I felt like if I could weather the storm and get the opportunity to manage those players whom I had already established a relationship with…this could be a really good opportunity.”

Gratitude

Lovullo thanked not only the front office and his wife — who helped him get through 2021 with her encouraging words — but the coaches and players. “I need to thank the players for their effort every single day. The trust they place in me — I can throw some unbelievably wild concepts out there, and they grasp them. I have demands; they accept them. And I think they play the type of baseball that everybody wants to see in the Valley. To me, that’s just a winning brand of baseball with a winning attitude.”

Lovullo also thanked the coaches. “They put more faith in me than anybody, because they see me in my rawest form, my good and bad days. And they believe in me. We believe in each other. This is a really good culture that we’ve created, and we get to enhance it now through the ‘24 season. I couldn’t be more thankful and more grateful.”

The Future with Torey Lovullo

Embed from Getty Images

Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston, who led the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers to four World Series championships and seven pennants, had 23 one-year contracts from 1954–76. Whether Lovullo gets a series of one-year contracts or a long-term deal, he says he will make the same effort every day. “My job every single day is as a simple one. It’s to be here for the players, continue growing and learning and give the absolute best effort that I possibly can for the good of this organization. I’ve lived by those standards. We’ve had some very lean years here, (but) we’re trending in a very positive direction. And we’re coming out the other end.

“I work as hard today as I did last year at this time. The year before, when we were not playing good baseball — I just want to be a consistent employee of the Arizona Diamondbacks every single day. To be rewarded in this way, I am extremely grateful. But it doesn’t change my day-to-day plan. I’m the same guy. I want to be consistent and be there for the players to help us push this thing in the right direction every single day.”

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Share "Diamondbacks Extend Torey Lovullo Another Year; Contract to Run through 2024" on social media:
More Arizona Diamondbacks News
Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

Order Evan's book at store.bookbaby.com
Follow Evan on Twitter: @evan_m_thompson
Support Evan on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=81411994

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *