ST. PETERSBURG — Dave Eiland liked working again for his hometown Rays as a scout and minor-league instructor. But what he really wanted was to be a major-league pitching coach again, and he got that opportunity with the Royals, agreeing to a two-year deal announced Tuesday.
"I'm very happy; it's what I do," Eiland said. "I wouldn't have left Tampa Bay for any pitching coach job. It had to be the right fit, and Kansas City felt like a very good fit."
Eiland, 45, grew up in Zephyrhills and pitched parts of 10 seasons in the majors, the last three with the Rays. He then went into coaching, working his way up to be the Yankees pitching coach in 2008-10. He spent last season as a special assistant with the Rays and would have returned if he hadn't gotten a big-league job.
"In 25 years in the game, those were some of the smartest, brightest, sharpest baseball people I've been around," Eiland said. "It's really hard to leave."
Also, director of baseball operations Dan Feinstein left the Rays to return to the A's as director of professional scouting and baseball development. Feinstein, a native of Lafayette, Calif., worked for Oakland from 1994-2004. With the Rays, he assisted executive VP Andrew Friedman with contracts, arbitration, trades, rules and budgets.