Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays restructure front office; existing execs get new titles

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have restructured their front office to give the general manager title to Erik Neander and more responsibility to Chaim Bloom while keeping Matt Silverman on top as president of baseball operations.

The net result is that Neander and Bloom, who have worked together for the past 10 seasons, will "directly oversee all aspects of baseball operations" as senior vice presidents while Silverman shifts from day-to-day issues to broader topics but retains oversight. Neander will "focus on" player evaluation and procurement, but major moves will remain communal work.

"My role has been to oversee baseball operations and the wide scope of activities we engage in," Silverman said. "Going forward, the charge is the same with my focus shifting away from daily management and more toward our longer-term vision and priorities. When it comes to key decisions, we will all work closely together."

The changes were not the result of a second straight disappointing season, Silverman said, but an "evolution" expected since he moved from team president to take over baseball operations in October 2014, with Bloom and Neander as his top deputies, after Andrew Friedman's departure.

Neander, 33, has worked 10 seasons for the Rays, the past two as a vice president. Bloom, 33, has been there 12 seasons, also serving as a vice president the past two. He interviewed for GM-level positions with the Brewers, Phillies and Twins, and declined one from the D-backs.

Silverman said the responsibility sharing is "unique" but said it works in their situation. "It's custom-fit to our histories together and to our working relationships," he said. "Because of their decade-long working relationship, Erik and Chaim are ideal partners to team up on the daily management of our department."

Principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement the "enormous challenge" of baseball operations "requires a wide variety of talents, strong leadership, and tight collaboration. I have great confidence in Erik's and Chaim's ability to both lead our operations and to advance our methods and the scope of things we do."

Also, James Click was promoted to vice president, functioning as an assistant GM; left-handed pitcher Dana Eveland (who had a 9.00 ERA in 33 games) and righty Neil Wagner were re-signed to minor-league deals with spring training invites; and righty prospects Brent Honeywell and Diego Castillo will participate in the Arizona Fall League Stars Game tonight.

BREWERS: Centerfielder Keon Broxton, 26, of Lakeland was arrested in Tampa early Friday on a misdemeanor trespass charge after police said he refused to leave following a fight in the South Howard area.

D'backs: Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo was named manager by new GM Mike Hazen, Boston's former assistant GM.

Indians: The options were picked up for manager Terry Francona (two years) and slugger Carlos Santana (one year, $12 million.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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