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Three Finalists for Rays Manager: Kevin Cash, Raul Ibanez and Don Wakamatsu

NOT Davey Martinez

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays were expected to pare down their list of manager candidates this afternoon, from a gaudy ten name list to something more... uh... manageable.

Shockingly, Dave Martinez is no longer under consideration.

Now that we know those names, speculation can begin on who might be the best fit for the future of the franchise, but take that that speculation with a spoon full of salt. We truly have minimal insight into the qualifications of each individual to be the next club manager.

That said, the absence of Dave Martinez as a finalist for the position after serving the majority of Maddon's career as the bench coach is surprising.

We do know that the majority of first round interviews were conducted via phone with ten candidates:

  • Dave Martinez - current Rays bench coach
  • Charlie Montoyo - current Triple-A manager
  • Manny Acta - managed Indians and Nats, international presence, wearer of fedoras
  • Ron Wotus - longtime Giants bench coach (nearly two decades)
  • Don Wakamatsu - managed Mariners, current Royals bench coach
  • Raul Ibanez - designated hitter and sought after as player by Rays
  • Craig Counsell - special assistant for Brewers
  • Kevin Cash - Tampa native, former Rays catcher, current bullpen coach with Indians
  • Doug Glanville - nine year career, niow writer and tv analyst, brilliant smile
  • Barry Larkin - Hall of Famer, Team Brazil manager of one season

Among the ten, Craig Counsel was the only member to withdraw his name from consideration, and that came early this morning. The rest of the bunch were waiting on word from the Rays.

Narrowing that down, here are your finalists:

  • Don Wakamatsu - managed Mariners, current Royals bench coach
  • Raul Ibanez - Royals designated hitter and sought after as player by Rays
  • Kevin Cash - Tampa native, former Rays catcher, current bullpen coach for Indians

Interviews are scheduled to take place in person the week of December 1.

"We were very impressed by the 10 finalists we interviewed, and could have envisioned any of them managing our club," said President, Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. "The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult. He's played a key role in our organization's evolution, and he's done all he can to put himself in position to be a manager. In the end, we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture. We're excited to get to know our three remaining finalists better as we look to name our next manager in the coming weeks."