The San Francisco Giants were the biggest surprise in baseball this season. They were considered a postseason bubble team at best going into the year, yet they won 107 games and finished with baseball's best record. That may earn manager Gabe Kapler the National League Manager of the Year award. It has earned him a contract extension.
On Friday, the Giants announced they have signed Kapler to a contract extension through the 2024 season. Kapler was set to enter the final year of the original three-year contract he signed with the club in Nov. 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.
This past season was Kapler's second with the Giants. The club went 29-31 during the shortened 2020 season and missed the expanded postseason only because the Brewers, who also finished 29-31, held the tiebreaker (intradivision record). Milwaukee was the No. 8 seed and the Giants were sent home.
This year the Giants won 107 games, the most in the franchise's history, and their .660 winning percentage was not just their highest since moving to San Francisco in 1958, it was their highest since Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson's 1913 New York Giants went 101-51. The team's plus-210 run differential was the second highest in baseball this year.
Prior to joining the Giants the 46-year-old Kapler had a mostly forgettable two-year tenure as Phillies manager. The club went 161-163 in his two years, missing the postseason both times. Kapler was fired following the 2019 season, then joined the Giants a few weeks later. He and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi were close dating back to their time with the Dodgers.
In four seasons as a big league manager Kapler owns a 297-249 (.544) record with one division title and one postseason trip (both 2021). The Giants were eliminated by the rival Dodgers in a thrilling five-game NLDS this year, so Kapler is still looking for his first postseason series win as a manager.
Kapler is one of three NL Manager of the Year finalists along with Craig Counsell (Brewers) and Mike Shildt (Cardinals). and Kapler is considered the overwhelming favorite to win.