1:03pm: The Rays have officially announced Cash’s hiring as the fifth manager in franchise history. President of baseball operations Matthew Silverman offered the following statement on Cash in a press release:
“Kevin is passionate, genuine and dedicated, and those attributes will resonate throughout our clubhouse. As a catcher, a scout and a coach, he has always been a student of the game, and his communication and tireless work will put our club in a position to win, night in and night out.”
12:10pm: The Rays will hire former big league catcher Kevin Cash as their next manager, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Cash was reportedly one of three finalists with Raul Ibanez and former Mariners manager/current Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu. Ibanez had reportedly withdrawn himself from consideration earlier this week. An official announcement should come at some point today, based on previous reports.
Cash, who turns 37 tomorrow, served as the Indians’ bullpen coach in 2013-14 after a brief stop in the Blue Jays’ scouting department following his playing career. Earlier this offseason, Cash was one of three finalists for the Rangers’ managerial opening, alongside eventual winner Jeff Banister and now-former Rangers coach Tim Bogar. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets that Cash was, in fact, the runner up to Banister.
Cash spent parts of eight Major League seasons as a catcher for the Red Sox, Yankees, Astros, Rays and Blue Jays, batting a combined .183/.248/.278 in 714 plate appearances. He’s drawn excellent reviews in his coaching stint with the Indians but will have some large shoes to fill for the Rays, who recently lost one of the game’s most recognizable and most respected managers in Joe Maddon.