Departed top Rays baseball executive Andrew Friedman did his best to further quell speculation that manager Joe Maddon will follow him to the Dodgers, saying Friday that Don Mattingly "definitely" will manage the 2015 season in Los Angeles and potentially many more.
"I have a tremendous personal relationship with Joe. He's a very good friend of mine and have a really good professional relationship as well," Friedman said after his introductory news conference in Los Angeles. "That being said, Joe is now working with Matt Silverman and the baseball operation people (with the Rays), and I'm excited about working with Donnie.
"I'm going into it with the mind-set we're going to work together for a long time. I had one manager in the 10 years I've been doing this and am looking forward to working with Donnie for a long time."
Maddon is signed through 2015, Mattingly through 2016.
Friedman, who declined overtures from the Angels, Astros and Cubs during his nine years running the Rays, said the timing of what is believed to be a quite lucrative offer from the Dodgers is what led to his departure.
"Two, three years ago, I was at a different point in my life," he said, acknowledging the unique working relationships he had with the Rays and a commitment from his new bosses to "re-create" that within the storied Dodgers organization.
While principal owner Stuart Sternberg said no Rays baseball operations staffers would be joining the Dodgers, Friedman said that could change in time, but "I'm not looking to hurt the Tampa Bay Rays."
RAYS PROMOTIONS: With Silverman taking over for Friedman as president of baseball operations, top assistants Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander, both 31, were promoted from directors to vice presidents to reflect their additional duties and responsibilities.
"Erik and Chaim's promotions are well deserved as they have been essential contributors to our operation for years," Silverman said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them in all facets of baseball operations, and I know they will continue to be great leaders of our deeply talented and dedicated department."
Information from the Los Angeles Times was used in this report. Contact Marc Topkin at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.