Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays have named Kevin Cash as their new manager.
Cash spent parts of eight seasons as a catcher in the majors, retiring after the 2011 season. He joined the Toronto Blue Jays as an advance scout in 2012 and was the bullpen coach with the Cleveland Indians for the past two seasons.
"Kevin is passionate, genuine and dedicated, and those attributes will resonate throughout our clubhouse," said Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman in a statement Friday. "As a catcher, a scout and a coach, he has always been a student of the game, and his communication and tireless work will put our club in a position to win, night in and night out."
Cash, a Tampa native who will turn 37 years old on Saturday, will be the youngest active manager in the majors. He played 13 games for the Devil Rays in 2005 and will become the first former player to manage for the franchise.
"We are proud to introduce Kevin as our manager," said Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg on Friday. "His energy and dynamic personality will fit seamlessly with our clubhouse. We are fortunate to have such a talented individual, and Tampa Bay native, to lead our club as we strive to achieve new heights as a team and organization."
The Rays interviewed nine candidates in an effort to find a replacement for Joe Maddon, who opted out of his contract in October soon after long-time executive Andrew Friedman left for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Maddon quickly found a new job with the Chicago Cubs. He had guided the Rays to a record of 754-705 with two division titles, four postseason berths and the 2008 World Series during his nine-year tenure.
Cash also played for Toronto, Boston, the Yankees and Houston in a big league career that ended with a batting average of .183 and 12 home runs in 246 games. He played for World Series winning teams with Boston in 2007 and the Yankees in 2009.
The other finalists for the position were longtime major league outfielder Raul Ibanez and former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu.