Advertisement
  1. Rays

Long deal gives Cash security as Rays manager

Rays manager Kevin Cash, with baseball operations president Matt Silverman, has security with a five-year contract.
Published Mar. 15, 2015

Signing Kevin Cash for what the Tampa Bay Times has learned is around $5 million over a five-year contract, and potentially longer with options, before he ever managed a game was a tremendous show of faith and commitment by the Rays.

Not announcing the terms at the time, or confirming even the length of the deal after it was reported last week, was an odd way to handle what is certainly positive news. Rays officials must have had some reason, though they could hardly have expected it to remain a secret too long.

Giving Cash that lengthy a deal is obviously good for him, certainly more security (and more money) than he ever had as a player, and eliminates any reason to look over his shoulder if the first year or two go bad.

Plus, it sends a message to the players and staff that they should buy in and invest in Cash because of how much his bosses think of him and that he will be around a while.

Cash's extensive communication throughout the clubhouse has already gotten rave reviews. That's a benefit as he is already being tested, trying to juggle several somewhat difficult situations, such as potentially platooning at shortstop and centerfield, usually foundation positions, and having to plug holes in a rotation that was supposed to be the strength of the team.

His boss, baseball ops president Matt Silverman, praises him for being ahead of the curve and anticipating what he needs to do work on. "It's a learning process for everyone — the coaches, the front office and Kevin," Silverman said. "But the communication continues to be good, the trust level is high and we're all in this together."

Game management is different, and after an admittedly slow start, Cash said he is starting to feel comfortable in the dugout as well.

"The first couple games I was probably out of synch," Cash said, "but since then I feel every day that I'm gaining some confidence, that I'm on top of the communication with Charlie (Montoyo, the third-base coach). … I think the flow of the game has improved."

Bench coach Tom Foley has provided a few nudges on potential upcoming moves, but Cash said his biggest issue has been prioritizing the need to signal to Montoyo what he wants to do in every offensive situation.

Even amid celebrations.

"This sounds crazy," Cash said, "but when we score a run rather than going and high-fiving the guy, I need to get with Charlie right then, and then go high-five the guy."

Rays rumblings: Among the pre-arbitration players signed to one-year deals, RHP Brad Boxberger got $521,400. … Singing LH Jonny Venters to a two-year minor-league deal as he rehabs from a third Tommy John surgery is a smart low-risk, high-upside move, even though he's unlikely to pitch until next spring. Plus, he's known as a great guy. … Former Rays DH Luke Scott, who played in South Korea last year, is now trying Mexico, signing with the Pericos de Puebla. … C Oscar Hernandez breaking a hamate bone in D-backs' camp could actually hurt the Rays' chances of having him returned since a DL stint figures into satisfying the Rule 5 equation. … Hancock Bank has dropped its sponsorship of the Trop's premium level club. … Former RHP Andy Sonnanstine's debut doing internet radio with Neil Solondz last week wasn't just a cameo as he's interested in a regular broadcast gig.

Roster report

The fourth of our weekly guesses at the makeup of the Opening Day roster:

Pitchers (12): Chris Archer, Grant Balfour, Jeff Beliveau, Brad Boxberger, Alex Cobb, Ernesto Frieri, Steve Geltz, Kevin Jepsen, Nathan Karns, Jake Odorizzi, C.J. Riefenhauser, Kirby Yates.

Catchers (2): Rene Rivera, x-Bobby Wilson

Infielders: (6): Asdrubal Cabrera, x-Jake Elmore, Logan Forsythe, Nick Franklin, James Loney, Evan Longoria.

Outfielders/DH (5): Brandon Guyer, John Jaso, Desmond Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr.

DL (4): RHP Alex Colome, LHP Jake McGee, LHP Matt Moore, LHP Drew Smyly

x-non-roster invitee

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. FILE - In this July 24, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws to an Oakland Athletics batter during a baseball game in Houston. Verlander has been awarded his second AL Cy Young Award. MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP
    The Mets’ Jacob deGrom wins the NL award for the second straight year.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash talks with reporters in the dugout the day after clinching a playoff spot. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Ray Rocco Baldelli wins top honors after his first season with the Twins, Aaron Boone was second.
  3. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, addresses the media during a press conference at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Award came from a vote of team executives; Yankees Cashman was second.
  4. Flanked by his mother, Michelle Alonso, left, father Peter Alonso (blue shirt, standing), girlfriend Haley Walsh, right, and friends, New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, 24, reacts as he finds out he has won the National League Rookie of the Year award on Monday at his home in Tampa.  Alonso, a Plant High graduate, made a grand entrance to the big leagues, hitting a major-league rookie and team-record 53 home runs for the Mets. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The easiest part of the day for the travel-weary first baseman may have been receiving the prestigious award.
  5. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash speaks at a news conference before an Oct. 1 American League wild-card game practice in Oakland, Calif. JEFF CHIU  |  AP
    Marc Topkin: The Twins Rocco Baldelli and Yankees Aaron Boone are the other two finalists for the hard-to-define award.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is showered with sunflower seeds after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Former Plant High and Florida star Pete Alonso a favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, to be announced Monday
  7. Erik Neander, Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager, says of the general manager meetings, which start this week, "We’d love to find a way to score a lot more runs without sacrificing run prevention.'' DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays Tales: Erik Neander says 2019 success provides “a stronger starting point” than they have had in a while. Plus, rumblings.
  8. Manager Kevin Cash has led the Rays to back-to-back seasons of 90 or more victories. He finished third in the American League Manager of the Year voting in 2018 and is one of three finalists again this year with the winner being announced on Tuesday. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    John Romano: His profile is as low as Tampa Bay’s payroll, but AL Manager of the Year candidate Kevin Cash consistently gets the most out of the Rays.
  9. ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times
Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro (33) talks to umpire Bruce Dreckman at the bottom of the fourth inning against Texas Rangers on Sunday, June 30, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. 
 ALLIE GOULDING  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The other finalists, per a report, are Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.
  10. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) pumps his fist while walking onto the field just prior to taking on the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the American League Division Series in St. Petersburg. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    Charlie Morton is in the top 3 for the Cy Young Award and Brandon Lowe for Rookie of the Year honors as well.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement