The Tampa Bay Rays have been very open with the fans and the media during their search to find a new manager to replace Joe Maddon who stepped down at the end of the year to take the Chicago Cubs job.
The club initially listed all possible contenders on their website, and Terry Richardson said they hit the club Twitter account and let fans know that they intended to interview all ten candidates and keep those candidates informed if they were not going to be considered. Now they have provided another update.
The Rays announced Friday that they have narrowed the list of potential managers down to just three names. Those three are Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez, and Don Wakamatsu. Cash is the youngest of the bunch and spent last year as a bullpen coach for the Indians. Ibanez and Wakamatsu are already familiar with each other as they both were in the dugout for the Royals during their World Series run, Ibanez as a player and Wakamatsu as the Royals bench coach. Wakamatsu is the only candidate remaining that has Major League managerial experience. He was the manager of the Seattle Mariners during the 2009-2010 seasons.
Two fan and player favorites that didn’t make the cut were Dave Martinez and Charlie Montoyo. Martinez is familiar with the team already he has been the Rays bench coach under Maddon for the last seven seasons. Star third baseman Evan Longoria made a public pitch for Martinez to get the job. Montoyo is also revered by the players, he coached many of them at the Triple A level.
It’s now a three dog race between Cash, Ibanez, and Wakamatsu. When the Rays make a decision I’m sure that we will all be the first to know.