ST. PETERSBURG — With infielder Akinori Iwamura traded to the Pirates, Tateki Uchibori wasn't going to have anybody to talk for.
But the Rays decided to keep Uchibori, Iwamura's interpreter the past two years, and gave him a job as a scout in his native Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
The Rays announced several other assignments Thursday as they added three minor-league coordinators for a system that now includes nine teams and nearly 300 players.
"We feel these additions will ensure that every player receives the attention he deserves," farm director Mitch Lukevics said.
Most prominent was the hiring of former Astros pitching coach Dewey Robinson to join Dick Bosman as pitching coordinators.
Most interesting was the return of longtime Triple-A manager and former big-league bench coach Bill Evers to an on-field role as co-minor-league field coordinator, joining Jim Hoff.
Matt Quatraro, who had been a minor-league manager the past four seasons, will join Steve Livesey as hitting coordinators.
Also, Matt Arnold was promoted to the new position of director of pro scouting.
Free agency: Reliever Troy Percival, who plans to retire, was the only one of the four Rays eligible for free agency to file on Thursday's opening day. The others who are eligible are relievers Chad Bradford, Russ Springer and Jason Isringhausen. The Rays hold options on leftfielder Carl Crawford, reliever Brian Shouse and catcher Gregg Zaun.