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Same philosophy, different approach for Rays' Silverman

Matt Silverman, left, with manager Joe Maddon, moves from team president to president of baseball operations. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
Published Oct. 18, 2014

Matt Silverman won't run the Rays exactly the same way Andrew Friedman did for nine seasons before leaving last week for the Dodgers.

After joking that he was funnier, more charming and taller than his good buddy, Silverman acknowledged that while both are "people people" and focus on communication, there are some substantive differences — one being that he plans to do less and delegate more, operating more in what he described as an "oversight role" at times.

"I have a different style, I have a different personality," Silverman said. "I think my lack of exact experience, and my absence of being in the role day to day for the last 10 years, gives others in the department the opportunity to do more, to add more than they otherwise might have."

That starts with Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander, two bright 31-year-old assistants who were promoted Friday to vice president titles.

But Silverman said their basic philosophies — focusing on run prevention by stressing pitching and defense — won't change, though he would like to see a renewed emphasis on being innovative and ahead of other teams.

"I think everyone in the organization on the baseball side can breathe a sigh of relief that there aren't sweeping changes, that we get to keep doing the same things we've been doing," Silverman said. "It's been successful in the past, and it should be successful in the future."

Besides buying his first radar gun to scout pitchers, Silverman joked that another immediate accommodation for the new job is getting a hands-free device for his cellphone after spending about 10 hours on it his first day.

REAL ESTATE DEPT.: Tim Mullen, a prominent member of Stuart Sternberg's ownership group, has listed his Chicago-area mansion — which includes an indoor pool, library and home theater — for sale at $18.75 million, making it the windy city's most expensive single family home. … Former Rays general partner Vince Naimoli next month is auctioning off his Avila home, once listed for $14 million but now appraised at a market value of $3.58 million.

WORLD SERIOUS: Congrats to ex-Rays/current Royals RHPs James Shields and Wade Davis and pitching coach Dave Eiland (the pride of Zephyrhills) on reaching the World Series; plus Giants GM Brian Sabean, who played at Eckerd College and coached at Saint Leo and Tampa. … OF Wil Myers, acquired from Kansas City in the Shields/Davis deal, tweeted: "Congrats to the #Royals! Happy for everyone in that organization."

RAYS RUMBLINGS: Expect a series of transactions over the next few weeks as the Rays have to clear 40-man roster space to protect several rising prospects, such as C Justin O'Conner, OF Mikie Mahtook and LHP Adam Liberatore, from the Rule 5 draft. … You get the sense talks between the Dodgers and Friedman were ongoing for quite a while since no parties will reveal the timeline that led to last week's deal. … Ex-Rays OF Sam Fuld will host a Dec. 13 Wiffle ball tournament at USF to benefit his annual Diabetes Sports Camp; see slamt1d.org for information. … The Rays have until five days after the World Series ends to pick up INF/OF Ben Zobrist's $7.5 million option and make a tougher decision on RHP Joel Peralta at $2.5 million, with roster space a consideration. One scenario is to pick up Peralta's option and later trade him. … 3B Evan Longoria is featured in a three-part behind-the-scenes video series for New Balance gear; see tampabay.com/blogs/rays. … RHP Michael Kohn, signed Thursday, is a reliever who, after recovering from 2012 Tommy John elbow surgery, was 3-5, 3.52 ERA with 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings over 88 big-league games in 2013-14. … 1B Cameron Seitzer, who hit .242 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs at Double-A Montgomery, is headed to Puerto Rico to play for Carolina. OF Taylor Motter, who hit .274-16-61 for the Biscuits, is playing in Venezuela for Magarita.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

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