Hickey to return
The Rays announced Thursday that pitching coach Jim Hickey will return to the team on a one-year contract. Hickey's future was in question following his arrest on DUI and other charges after returning from the Sept. 30 season finale.
"Im extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue coaching the Rays,'' Hickey said in a statement released by the team. "Last month, I let down my family, the organization, and the Tampa Bay community. I am truly sorry for my actions.''
On Monday, Hickey pleaded no contest to charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. He had his license revoked for six months and was placed on probation for one year, though the term may be reduced. A seperate charge of resisting arrest was folded into the DUI charge. He has performed 50 hours of court-ordered community service, and will perform more under team direction.
"Ever since the incident, Jim has shown contrition and taken full responsibility for his actions,'' Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said in a statement. "We are confident he has learned from his mistakes, and we are ready for him to resume his responsibilities with our club.''
Hickey joined the Rays last October after being let go by the Astros. Under Hickey, the Rays finished with a major-league high 5.53 ERA but led the AL with 1,194 strikeouts.
Also, INF Jorge Velandia and RHP Shawn Camp became free agents after outright assigments to Triple-A Durham. With C Josh Paul filing for free agency, the Rays currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster.