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Rays release list of managerial candidates

Tampa Bay considering bench coach Martinez, 19-year vet Ibanez

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced on Thursday the preliminary candidates for their vacant managerial post: Dave Martinez, Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Ron Wotus, Don Wakamatsu, Raul Ibanez, Craig Counsell and Kevin Cash.

"This is a preliminary list of candidates, and we expect it will grow as we continue through this process," said Matt Silverman, Rays president of baseball operations. "With a talented core of players and a strong clubhouse culture, our next manager will step into an enviable position. We will look for him to build upon that and take us to the next level."

More about the candidates:

Martinez: Has spent the past seven seasons as the Rays' bench coach standing next to departed manager Joe Maddon. He played 16 Major League seasons with nine teams and was an original Devil Ray.

Montoyo: Triple-A Durham has thrived for the last eight seasons with Montoyo at the helm; he is the Bulls' all-time winningest manager. He's also a popular figure among the players who went through the system.

Acta: He's managed the Indians and Nationals, but has been working on TV recently. Acta managed the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League from 2003-05, including leading them to victory in the '04 Caribbean Series.

Wotus: He seems a little like Maddon. Wotus managed in the Giants' farm system and graduated to the Major Leagues, where he has been for 16 years. He is now the bench coach for the World Series champion Giants.

Wakamatsu: He's the Royals' bench coach, and he managed the Mariners for parts of two seasons. He's also served as the Blue Jays' bench coach.

Ibanez: He has displayed leadership qualities throughout his 19-year Major League career. Ibanez has played for five teams, and he finished 2014 with the Royals.

Counsell: He's a former player on championship teams with the Marlins and D-backs. Counsell currently works in the Brewers' front office and once worked as a part-time color analyst for Brewers radio broadcasts.

Cash: He hails from Tampa and caught for the then Devil Rays in 2005. He has scouted at the Major League level and coaches for the Indians.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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