The off season is just beginning for the Tampa Bay Rays and the Rays have already lost a key member of the front office to the Boston Red Sox, as the Red Sox poached VP of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom from the Rays to be their Chief Baseball Officer.
Bloom was introduced in Boston at a press conference earlier this week replacing the fired Dave Dombrowski.
Bloom had spent his entire career in the Rays front office starting as intern in 2005 and working his way up to the current title of VP of Baseball Operations in 2016.
Rays GM Erik Neander was expecting this exit from Bloom at some point, but it does sting just a bit that he will be staying in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox.
Bloom has been on the radar of several teams over the last couple of years as front office positions opened up around baseball, but Bloom did not feel like any of the previous opportunities were right for him.
Neander in an interview with Rays Radio said that James Click will serve as VP Of Baseball Operations, with Carlos Rodriguez continuing in his role as VP of Player Development and International Scouting.
In other off-season Rays news, Manager Kevin Cash was named American League Manager of the year by The Sporting News.
Cash took the Rays to the ALDS with the lowest payroll In baseball and took the Houston Astros to five games before bowing out.
Cash did a great job of keeping the team focused as the injuries mounted as the Rays had only two players that appeared in 140 games or more.
Cash also did a great job of getting the players to buy in to his vision of what the Rays could be and that vision ended with a 96 win season for the Rays.
General Manager Erik Neander was also honered by the Sporting News as he was named the best American League Executive.
Kevin Keirmaier has once again been nominated for a gold glove award. Playing in 125 games, Keirmaier made just four errors in 260 chances and should be the favorite again this year. Keirmaier joins Mike Trout of the Angels, and Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox as the other nominees.
Keirmaier was a Gold Glove winner in 2015 and 2016.
Shortstop Wily Adames was thought to be in contention for a Gold Glove nomination for his play as he was rated the best defensive shortstop in baseball according to the SABR defensive Index.
But Adames was beaten out in the nominating process by Francisco Lindor, Marcus Semien, and Andrelton Simmons.
The Gold Glove winners will be announced on Sunday November third.