The Rays’ front office triad of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom is profiled by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, who outlines how this unique three-man management structure operates. While Silverman has the lead role as the president of baseball operations, he notes that between himself and his two senior VPs, “there are three of us that can make decisions for the department. If one person is responsible for the final stamp on decisions, it can slow things down. Knowing three of us, if not more, are empowered to make decisions and keep our operations running smoothly and effectively, that’s a real advantage.” Major decisions are made as a group, though day-to-day tasks seem more or less shared between the trio. Trade talks with other organizations are split evenly “based on each’s strongest relationships” — multiple trades between the Rays and Mariners in recent years, for instance, have stemmed from the good connection between Neander and Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto.
Here’s more from around the baseball world…
- There weren’t many whispers about Brandon Phillips on the rumor mill this offseason, and according to C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter), “the Braves were the only team that had any interest in Phillips whatsoever.” Given this limited market and the added complication of Phillips’ no-trade protection, it perhaps isn’t surprising that the Reds didn’t get much of a return in finally dealing Phillips to Atlanta.
- The biggest benefit for the Reds is that Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera now have a clearer path towards regular playing time. Reds GM Dick Williams told Rosencrans (Twitter link) and other reporters that the two young infielders and veteran shortstop Zack Cozart will rotate the middle infield jobs during Spring Training. Cozart has himself been the subject of trade speculation, though those rumors have dried up since the Mariners (his most ardent suitor) addressed their shortstop need by acquiring Jean Segura from the Diamondbacks.
- Extension talks between Chris Tillman and the Orioles have been “nothing serious” thus far, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. The two sides began preliminary talks back in December, though as of mid-January, Tillman said he hadn’t heard any details on negotiations from his agents. Kubatko wouldn’t be surprised if more substantial talks take place during Spring Training, as Tillman can become a free agent after the 2017 season.