CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona says he won't use an out clause in his contract if Cleveland President Mark Shapiro takes a job elsewhere.
Shapiro reportedly is a candidate to succeed Toronto Blue Jays President Paul Beeston, who plans to retire after this season. Shapiro has declined to comment on the report. Francona said last week Shapiro had made him aware of the situation, which reportedly will be resolved in the next few days.
Francona signed a contract extension following last season through 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020.
"If Mark's not here, there's a time I guess to talk about that," Francona said Friday. "The way it (the out clause) was meant, I would honor. I have no intention of ever using something like that as leverage for another job, because I don't want to."
Francona signed following the 2012 season to manage the Indians because of his close relationship with Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti. Francona said he asked for the out clause in the event either Shapiro and/or Antonetti were no longer with the club.
"I came here because of Mark and Chris, that's what originally brought me here," Francona said. "Because of that, I guess I wanted a little protection. I don't know if that's the right word, just in case the organization decided to go a different way."
"I was so close to them, I just believed in them so much that I was pretty adamant. That's probably the only thing I asked for in my contract," he said.
Shapiro has worked in Cleveland's front office since 1992. He was general manager for nine seasons before being elevated to team president in 2010.
Francona led the Indians to an AL wild-card berth in 2013 with a 92-70 record. Cleveland was in playoff contention until the final weekend last season and finished with an 85-77 record.
The Indians, picked to be a playoff contender before the season, began the day at 60-66 and five games out of a wild-card spot.