Odds are the next Tampa Bay Rays manager will have ties to the Royals.
The Rays announced three finalists for their managerial vacancy Friday, and Royals bench coach Don Wakamatsu and Royals outfielder Raul Ibañez are two of them. The other finalist is Cleveland bullpen coach Kevin Cash.
Wakamatsu, 51, joined Royals manager Ned Yost’s staff this season after serving as a special assignment scout for the Yankees in 2013. Wakamatsu managed the Mariners in 2009-10, posting an 85-77 record in his first season before being fired after a 42-70 start in 2010.
Ibañez, 42, is a free agent but has not officially retired from baseball. He joined the Royals on June 30 of this season after he was released by the Angels.
Cash, 36, is a Tampa native who played in parts of eight major-league seasons as a catcher during 2002-10.
Dave Martinez, Tampa’s bench coach, was among the candidates eliminated from consideration Friday, along with former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said “we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture.”
Brewers special assistant Craig Counsell told reporters in Milwaukee that he removed his name from the search. The Rays also were considering former major-leaguers Doug Glanville and Barry Larkin for the job.
| The Kansas City Star