The Tampa Bay Rays have announced that their managerial search is down to just 3 candidates, one of which is NOT bench coach Dave Martinez.
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“ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have narrowed their managerial search from 10 finalists to three: Kevin Cash, Raul Ibañez and Don Wakamatsu. Interviews are scheduled to take place in person the week of December 1.
“We were very impressed by the 10 finalists we interviewed, and could have envisioned any of them managing our club,” said President, Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. “The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult. He’s played a key role in our organization’s evolution, and he’s done all he can to put himself in position to be a manager. In the end, we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture. We’re excited to get to know our three remaining finalists better as we look to name our next manager in the coming weeks.”
Cash, 36, has spent the past two seasons (2013-14) as the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians. He caught eight seasons in the majors (2002-05, 2007-10) and played all but 20 games in the American League East, including a stint with Tampa Bay in 2005. Prior to joining the Indians, he spent the 2012 season as a major league advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tampa native played in the 1989 Little League World Series for Tampa Northside, graduated from Gaither High School in 1997 and played three seasons for Florida State University including a trip to the 1999 College World Series.
Ibañez, 42, recently completed his 19th season in the majors as a first baseman, outfielder and designated hitter, finishing the campaign with the AL Champion Kansas City Royals. He has amassed 305 career home runs and 2,034 hits while wearing five different uniforms: the Mariners (1996–2000, 2004-08, 2013), Royals (2001-03, 2014), Philadelphia Phillies (2009-11), New York Yankees (2012) and Los Angeles Angels (2014). Ibañez was named a 2009 National League All-Star, and is a four-time Roberto Clemente Award nominee for his community involvement. He attended Miami Sunset High School and Miami-Dade Community College.
Wakamatsu, 51, recently finished his first year as the Royals bench coach. It was his 17th season coaching or managing professionally, and 10th as a major league bench coach after filling the role for the Texas Rangers (2003-06), Oakland Athletics (2008) and Blue Jays (2011-12). Wakamatsu managed 274 games for the Mariners in 2009-10, becoming the first Asian-American manager in major league history. After graduating from Arizona State University, he went on to catch 12 seasons professionally, including 18 games with the Chicago White Sox in 1991.”MORE NEWS: Families Of Alleged Atlanta Police-Involved Shooting, Brutality Cases Demand Justice