We knew that what we just witnessed with this baseball team the Tampa Bay Rays this past season winning 90 games was something special.
The front office of the Rays thought so to as they rewarded manager Kevin Cash with a 5 year extension that will keep him managing the Rays through 2024. There is also an option year in there as well for the 2025 season.
Cash and his staff did a tremendous job considering the off-season gutting of the club during the off-season which may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Today we learned that two members of the coaching staff will not be back as they will be calling the shots as MLB managers next season.
Rocco Baldelli the first base coach for three of the last four seasons was hired to manage the Minnesota Twins. The Twins fired HOFer Paul MolItor after a disappointing 78-84 season. Baldelli at 37 will become the youngest manager in the majors next season.
Baldelli had a big influence on the development of the young players the past season as that was one of his assignments on the big league staff. When not working with the young players, Baldelli was assisting Cash and Charlie Montoyo with in game strategy and also worked with the outfielders.
Also today, bench coach Charlie Montoyo was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays to replace the fired John Gibbons. The 53-year old Montoyo has been a coach at the big league level since 2015 and was promoted to bench coach for the 2018 season.
Montoyo has had success as manager at all levels of the Rays organization leading AAA Durham to seven southern division titles in eight seasons In the International League.
With the emphasis on analytics and the game becoming more data driven, the Rays have been out front as one of the teams leaning heavily on analytics and the Blue Jays recognized that and brought Montoya on board.
The Rays may also be losing a key member of their front office as VP of baseball operations Chaim Bloom is a finalist along with Doug Melvin as a candidate for the vacant NY Mets GM Job.
Bloom with GM Andrew Silverman have re-tooled this Rays team by using analytics and foregoing the large FA contracts to give their top prospects a chance at the big league club.
The past two seasons the Rays have had one of the top 5 farm systems in MLB and that credit goes to Silverman, Bloom and the scouting department.
So along with a new stadium that is in the works in Tampa, the Rays will be also looking for two new coaches and possibly a new member of the front office.
it is shaping up to be another exciting off-season for Rays fans in Tampa.