Former Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton was hired Wednesday as the new manager of the Pirates.
Shelton, who spent nearly seven full seasons with the Rays, was chosen by new Pirates GM Ben Cherington. Current Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro was a finalist for the job, the last remaining opening in the majors for now. Quatraro was also a finalist for the Giants job, that went to former Rays outfielder Gabe Kapler, is likely to be a strong candidate for other openings in the future.
Shelton joined the Rays in 2010 after a stint with the Indians, and worked under both Joe Maddon and Kevin Cash. After being dismissed by the Rays late in the 2016 season, Shelton spent 2017 as the Blue Jays quality control coach and the last two seasons as the bench coach for the Twins, working in 2019 under another former Rays coach Rocco Baldelli, after also being a candidate for the Minnesota manager job.
“My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise,” Shelton, 49, said in a statement. "One of the most exciting things for me during the interview process was just how evident the passion for Pittsburgh and the desire to succeed was with everyone I interacted with.
“I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with Ben and the baseball operations staff. It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other. It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organization. We will begin to establish those relationships this offseason prior to coming together as a team in Bradenton this February.”
Shelton, 49, has three seasons managerial experience in the minors with the Yankees from 2000-02. He will make his regular-season managerial debut at the Trop on March 26.
Cherington said in a statement that Shelton was the right man to take over as they rebuild the organization after a 69-93 season and four straight without a playoffs appearance.
“I have known Derek for more than 15 years and have great admiration for his passion for the game and players, work ethic, curiosity, and desire to learn,” Cherington said.
“He has worked and learned from some of the best in the game, and in turn has helped players and colleagues learn and improve during his 20 years of coaching and managing. We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the major league level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day. I want to thank our entire baseball operations group for their tireless work over the past several weeks of this search. We are thrilled to get to work with Derek and continue building toward a winning team in Pittsburgh.”
Contact Marc Topkin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.