Thursday, November 15, 2018
  • The Heater
  • Marc Topkin

Matt Silverman shifting back to broader role with Rays as likely co-president

Three years after taking over as head of baseball operations, Matt Silverman is shifting back to a broader role with the Rays where he will function essentially as co-president with Brian Auld, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Specifics of the move, including titles, are still being worked out, and no announcement is expected until next week at the soonest. Team officials declined comment on Wednesday.

The move is not totally unexpected, as Silverman last year ceded daily responsibility of running the baseball side to senior vice presidents Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom and said then he planned to focus on longer-term and bigger picture issues, and hinted there eventually would be a further "evolution" of duties.

Silverman, 41, along with principal owner Stuart Sternberg, are pleased with the overall work of Neander, who also has the title of general manager, and Bloom, and their staff, even though the team has had three consecutive losing seasons on their watch.

Silverman's shift back to the administrative side comes at a critical time for the organization, headlined by the decade-long effort to find a new stadium, which now seems to be progressing with news Tuesday of Hillsborough County selecting a site. The team also is facing other major issues including negotiating for a new television deal and/or looking into forming its own network.

Duties and responsibilities are expected to be shared, and co-managed, by Auld and Silverman, with both having a role in handling the major issues. Auld has been primarily the lead executive on the stadium issue of late, joined by senior VP Melanie Lenz.

Silverman first joined the organization in May 2004 and was appointed team president when Sternberg took over in October 2005, then moved to president of baseball operations in October 2014 after Andrew Friedman left to take over the Dodgers.

Silverman oversaw the hiring of Kevin Cash to replaced departed manager Joe Maddon and a series of trades that helped rebuild the farm system into one of the game's best, as well as the promotions of Neander and Bloom.

Auld, 40, joined the Rays in May 2005, starting as director of planning and development and overseeing several business-side departments, with a major focus on corporate culture and community involvement.

Neander, 34, has been with the Rays for 11 seasons, starting as an intern in January 2007. Bloom, 34, has been aboard for 12, also working his way up from intern.