Rays skipper Cash signs extension through '24
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays and manager Kevin Cash have finalized a multiyear agreement that will keep him in his current position through the 2024 season, with a club option for '25.
"Under Kevin's leadership, our teams have always played hard," Rays general manager Erik Neander said. "They've played with energy, and by and large, they've played the game the right way. In our opinion, taking a look at this thing, the way that our teams have played has a lot to do with the example Kevin sets and the consistency which he approaches [the job] day to day.
"The energy, the competitiveness. There's a certain authenticity that we've spoken to over time here, that makes him real and allows him to motivate and to relate to a wide assortment of people. ... Our players want to play for him, and he's just created a wonderful culture for our group."
Added principal owner Stu Sternberg in a prepared statement: "Kevin's abilities, leadership and character have exceeded our lofty expectations. I look forward to having him and his family a part of our organization for the years ahead."
Cash, 40, led the Rays to a 90-72 record for the sixth-best mark in the American League and the club's best since their last postseason appearance in 2013. He has been recognized for his ability to connect with the team's mostly young core while also employing novel tactics that worked to success, such as the team's use of an opener for the bulk of the season. The Rays had the Majors' best record (36-19) over the final two months of the regular season.
"You want to be a part of an atmosphere where you come to work every day and everybody is received well and appreciated," Cash said. "And I think we've accomplished that, and we're going to try and continue to accomplish that as much as possible."
Cash, who was hired after the 2014 season when Joe Maddon left for the Cubs, is the fifth manager in club history. He has compiled a record of 318-330 (.491) over his four seasons. His contract was set to expire after the '19 season.
"I'm incredibly appreciative of the opportunity that was presented four years ago, and now," Cash said. "I'm thankful for the support of Stu and the ownership group. From Matt [Silverman] and Brian [Auld] to Erik and Chaim [Bloom], all of our baseball ops people, our fans and the players.
"I think this game has always been about the players and will always be about the players. But any positive impact myself, my staff, our front office can do to help lead them in the right direction is a huge benefit."
Cash and the Rays remained competitive throughout 2018 on a largely limited roster. They were aggressive sellers over the past calendar year, dealing away stalwarts, including third baseman Evan Longoria, starting pitchers Chris Archer and Nathan Eovaldi, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos and closer Alex Colome among others.
For his efforts, Cash is considered a favorite for the AL Manager of the Year Award, which will be given out in November.
A former catcher who played parts of eight seasons in the Majors -- including 2005 with the Rays -- Cash is one of four current managers who played for Tampa Bay, along with Nationals manager Dave Martinez (1998-2000), Mets skipper Mickey Callaway (1999, 2001) and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler (2009-10).
Cash, who turns 41 on Dec. 6, remains the youngest active manager in the Majors. He is the sixth Tampa-born manager in Major League history, and second to manage the Rays. That list includes Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Tony La Russa, Lou Piniella (for whom Cash played in 2005), Dave Miley and John Hart.