Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians announced Wednesday a contract extension for manager Eric Wedge through the 2007 season. The deal includes club options for 2008 and 2009.
The 37-year-old Wedge was named manager of the Indians on October 29, 2002. His team compiled a 68-94 mark the following season, finishing in fourth place in the American League Central Division. However, last season, the Tribe improved to 80-82, which was third in the division.
"Eric Wedge has consistently demonstrated his strengths as a leader for our team and organization," said Indians executive vice president and general manager Mark Shapiro. "I am happy that we can secure his position as our on- field leader for the next three years."
Wedge's contract now runs concurrently with Shapiro's deal. Wedge's entire major league coaching staff, which has a combined 184 years of professional baseball experience, had their contracts extended or options exercised through the 2006 season.
"We have a hard-working and committed major league staff that understands the vision and values of the Cleveland Indians organization," Shapiro said. "Their work and passion is an important part of our foundation and future success."
Among those on the major league staff are bench/infield coach Buddy Bell, first base/outfield coach Jeff Datz, bullpen coach Luis Isaac, hitting coach Eddie Murray, third base/catchers coach Joel Skinner, pitching coach Carl Willis and bullpen assistant Dan Williams.
Following their August 14 win over the Twins last season, the Indians were one game out of first place. However, Cleveland lost its next nine games, and a weak bullpen and inexperience led the team to wilt.