The Rays have announced a restructuring of their front office, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported on Twitter. Erik Neander has been promoted to senior VP of baseball operations and general manager, while Chaim Bloom will also receive a promotion to a senior VP title.
President of baseball operations Matthew Silverman will remain in his position, though it sounds as if there are some changes in the team’s decisionmaking process forthcoming. The organization’s press release says that Neander and Bloom “will directly oversee all functions within baseball operations,” with Neander specifically “focus[ing] on the department’s player evaluation and procurement process.”
Silverman explains in a prepared statement that the move had been envisioned since he took over for Andrew Friedman before the 2015 season. “This evolution is one that we envisioned two years ago,” he said. “I’m proud to work together with Erik and Chaim and empower them to direct the operations of our department.”
At the time of Silverman’s hiring, his primary duties were on the business side of the organization, as Topkin explained at the time. Though he was also involved in significant decision in the operations department, that was primarily Friedman’s domain. With Silverman’s changed role, Brian Auld took over as the team president.
Now, Silverman tells Topkin, he’ll hand off more day-to-day responsibility. “Going forward, the charge is the same with my focus shifting away from daily management and more towards our longer term vision and priorities,” said Silverman. “When it comes to key decisions, we will all work closely together.”
The organization will turn over greater authority to a pair of 33-year-old executives who have long served as key staff members in the organization, with indications being that they’ll work not only as a pair, but also in conjunction with Silverman and newly-anointed VP of baseball ops James Click. “Because of their decade-long working relationship, Erik and Chaim are ideal partners to team up on the daily management of our department,” Silverman explained. “The GM title marks Erik’s focus on our player acquisition process.”